11 February 2013
Interview with Jules Cluzel
I also need to work on my style because at the moment I've a got too much of a 250GP/Moto2/WSS style with a high corner speed, I need to work on this with my crew chief.
My problem is that I often want to go too fast too quickly and then I lose it, this a real problem and weak point of mine
How about your pit crew?
I've got a whole new crew, new bike, new championship. I haven't bought anyone with me, but that is probably for the best as everyone is used to working with Paul [Denning - team manager] and know the bike. Les [Pearson - crew chief] is a really great guy and you feel that he has the experience that I need.
Last season it was said that the Yoshimura engine was lacking power?
Yes, they have worked on the engine and found more power but I have nothing to compare it with. The team looks happy with it though. I'm not really a technical person and can't give a good answer. Having said that I do believe in the team, they are so professional and motivated - and motivated people find solutions. They give me the bike and I ride it.
What kind of results are you expecting?
I'm not making plans for the first race, I want to take my time. The team isn't putting any pressure on me, they are saying take your time, understand the bike and that's it. But in testing in Spain I was close to some great riders like Leon Haslam or Chaz Davies.
A problem I can have at the beginning is to concentrate too much on the lap times, I need to forget about that and just get some laps done. I just need to feel natural on the bike. Having said that though, I can tell you that I'll be checking the lap times like anyone else!
For me my expectation for the first race is to do my best. Last year in my first race I finished fourth and was angry. This is one of my problems, I finish in a good position but feel frustrated with myself because I could have done better. When I'm angry I just don't race too well.
In World Superbikes the level is very high though and if you make even one mistake you can finish nowhere.
How is it going with Leon Camier?
We met in London in November. He's a really nice guy, if I ask him something, he always helps me and if he asks anything of me, I'll do the same. He's very friendly and we have compared notes and we are coming from the same place so I'm sure we can work easily together. Leon is also good fun; he's natural and hasn't got a big head.
How do you feel at the beginning of a race?
I feel nervous, the more nervous I feel, the more I concentrate. I need to feel nervous before a race, you don't feel good, but I have to be like this.
Do you ever think about the danger?
Yes, I think about it. It's truly difficult to talk about this because people say that you shouldn't, and that if you think about it you have to stop racing. Having said that I think every rider has this in the back of their mind. It's a natural feeling and with 1000cc's the danger is greater, the margin for error is very small
Are you recognised, are you famous?
My town only has 50,000 people so some recognise me, but outside my city, people may know my name but not my face. Sometimes people say, 'What Cluzel, the racer?' but I don't really mind, it's good to improve the profile of the sport.
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