Albert Arenas – Mahindra Junior Rider Q+A
Fresh from his excellent weekend at the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 in Catalunya, where he finished 5th and 3rd, Aspar Mahindra rider Albert Arenas has spoken about his season so far, his hopes for the season ahead, as well as his appearances in the MotoGP World Championship and the new gearbox on his MGP3O that he has been testing.
You had your best CEV JWC result of the year so far at the Circuit de Catalunya, what do you feel made the difference?
Yes, Catalunya was the best result of the season so far, but for me, nothing has changed. I’m adapting to a new team and bike and finding out what we are capable of as a team, and starting to push my potential, and the potential of the bike, to the limit. Obviously, improvements help, but there is still more to come from us I feel.
Did it help that you had just raced in Barcelona as a wildcard in the Moto3 race at MotoGP?
It definitely helped me, we had more time to prepare the bike, find the right setup and squeeze the maximum performance out of the MGP3O. It really helped us hit 100% competitiveness, and you need to be at that level to compete in these championships.
You have had two wildcard rides in MotoGP so far, is there a big difference between the two series?
Not really, the series are actually quite similar. The big difference is in tyre strategy and the rhythm at the beginning of each session. It’s much faster at the start of a MotoGP session. But it’s the same bikes and the standard of riders is very similar, so what it takes to win in both series is exactly the same.
Do you feel that the wildcard rides in MotoGP are important for your development as a rider?
Definitely. Like I said, being on a new bike this season means it’s always good to ride it as much as possible, and give yourself the best chance to get to know it. It’s also an incredible chance to test yourself against the best young riders in MotoGP, so you can learn and improve.
As a Mahindra rider in the Junior World Championship you also have the responsibility for testing parts for Mahindra before they are homologated for the World Championship. Do you enjoy this role?
It’s really amazing being a factory rider. It’s the dream of every rider, and I like it. It’s good to know that a factory of people is working to guarantee you better performance on the bike. While testing new parts is obviously not always 100% successful, it’s good to be able to provide feedback to the factory, as you know that can help them improve the bike and help you get good results
In Barcelona you raced with a new Mahindra gearbox. Do you feel that this contributed to your result?
It really helped me, particularly because it allows me to focus more on braking and steering. I no longer have to think about if I will get the gear when downshifting or if it’ll jump gears in fast corners. This has made it so much easier to concentrate on squeezing the maximum out of the bike and my own performance.
What are the main differences with the new gearbox?
The biggest difference is most noticeable under heavy braking. When you start to change down, the box is really smooth and fast. It also seems to be extremely reliable, it never fails when you change gears, and you can use all of the acceleration without wasting any time at all.