4 December 2014
Moto3: Guevara enjoying Factory Mahindra status
"Having a factory behind you is very noticeable, as the bike evolves faster" - Juanfran Guevara.
The best of the Kalex KTM riders in 2014, Juanfran Guevara is already enjoying the Aspar team's new factory Mahindra status.
The Indian manufacturer has closed its own official team in order to concentrate on the development of the MGP30 for others - led by Aspar.
2015 will be Guevara's third year in grand prix, The Spaniard spending his rookie 2013 season on a CIP-run TSR Honda, before scoring 46 world championship points on the way to 17th in this year's standings as the lone Aspar rider.
Guevara will have two team-mates next season, with Francesco Bagnaia moving over from the VR46 squad and rookie Jorge Martin stepping up to GPs.
“The feeling that the Mahindra gives me is totally different from the bike I rode last season,” said Guevara, who took a best finish of eighth this year, but also proved his speed with two front row starts. “This bike turns very well, it's easy to lower times and, most importantly, the setup is relatively simple. I love the manoeuvrability. Having a factory behind you is very noticeable, as the bike evolves faster.”
“Very much so,” Guevara added, when asked how noticeable the change to factory backing had been. “We have seen in training, when asking for improvements they arrive for the next test. When we are working, especially in pre-season, it is essential to have all the material and possible developments available in order to outline the 2015 bike.
“Mahindra have backed us completely and it is much easier to work like this. Everything we improve and our future results will be positive for us, but also for the factory.”
Mahindra took three podiums in this year's Honda and KTM dominated championship, with Aspar and Guevara now playing a central role in development of the 2015 machine.
“The prototype chassis for 2015 is a bit stiffer than the previous season's, something which is very positive as they have corrected some chatter that was appearing with the 2014 frame,” Guevara revealed. “The bike turns in very well, and I think we have to work to try to gain a little more grip on the rear. I'm pretty aggressive on the first point of acceleration and hence the need to have a lot of grip.”
Revised rules for next season will see the Moto3 rev limit reduced from 14,000 to 13,500rpm.
“Yes, we have tested the new engine which runs with 500rpm fewer. It responds equally as well as last year,” Guevara stated. “The intention is to get better performance with lower rpm. At the moment it's all very good.”
Talking about his new team-mates, 19-year-old Guevara said: “Pecco I've known for many years, we have competed together in the same championships since 2009. He has always struck me as a fast rider and very focused.
“With Jorge I have met him on occasion when training in the breaks, when I went down to the Murcia area to spend the summer and took the opportunity to train. We trained together in karting, he's a great guy. He is the youngest of the three of us, and perhaps that means he needs to learn a little more, but he is ready to make the jump to the World Championship. And Pecco is certainly going to be battling in the top positions all year.”
Guevara tested alongside his new team-mates last month, but his 2014 track activities came to a painful end with a foot injury at Valencia.
“Until Monday of this week I was wearing taping. I suffered a second-degree sprain, but the recovery will take a little longer than expected, because in the fall some ligaments, tendons and nerves were affected.
“I took off the dressing a few days ago, but as the day progresses I noted that my ankle tires and I find it harder to walk. In any case I was very lucky not to break my leg on that spectacular crash, and also that I was injured out of competition time.”
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