Livio Suppo interview: “Our goal is to win the title”
Livio Suppo, Team Principal for Repsol Honda, analyses Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez’ preseason so far. After the Austin test, Suppo reflects positively on the times taken by both riders.
Can you give your take on how the three-day test in Austin went?
“The three days of testing were very positive. The circuit was new and we went there with the idea of understanding and learning the layout. We left with good times from Marc [Marquez], who set a great pace from the start and, of course, Dani [Pedrosa], who was also very fast. Therefore, we can say that it was a very positive test in which, fortunately, the weather was good to us throughout the three days.”
With your experience with other riders and teams, can you tell us what Dani and Marc are like as riders?
“Dani and Marc are very fast, special riders. Dani has more experience in MotoGP and Marc is a rookie. Psychologically, they are in completely different situations. Pedrosa comes into the season off being the fastest rider in the second half of 2012, missing out on the title by a slim margin. This year, his main aim is to win the title. Marc has just arrived in the class with no responsibility bar learning how the premier class works. In short, both are very quick and important to the team, and there is a good relationship between the two. Being Spanish and sharing the same language also helps a lot and makes the banter between them easier.”
What is your assessment of Marc Marquez’ adaptation to the RC213V?
“Marc is doing very, very well. On the first day in Valencia, despite the bad weather and the poor condition of the track, he did a good job. After that first contact, he has continued to do well all winter -especially in Austin, where he was the fastest over the three days. That’s something special. Good riders are fast from the start. In 2006, Dani finished second in his first race -behind Loris Capirossi. Fast riders are always fast. We will see how Marc gains experience over the season, but his only clear goal is to learn without pressure.”
Would you say that the RC213V is an evolution of last year’s bike?
“It is an evolution of last year’s bike. Since the middle of last season we have had a very competitive bike, and Dani did very well with it. There has been no marked change, except the three extra kilos of weight required by the new rule. Fortunately, this time we knew ahead of time, so our engineers were able to add the weight properly. Dani has not had to worry about this issue, in contrast with last year when at the beginning of the season we lost some time adapting. Besides that, there is always something new, but it is an evolution of the bike that we had last year.”
What goals do the team have for this year?
“Repsol Honda is the most successful team in the series. We know that expectations are high and our goal is to win the World Championship. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. One need only look back to when we were just a few points off winning the title. Moreover, we should note that the Repsol Honda team took the constructors title, which is proof that the bike was good. We had more points than Yamaha and, in this sense, we had some success from last year, although the more prestigious title was taken by another team. This year we will try again.”
What do you think about your new role as Repsol Honda Team Principal?
“I’m very proud of my new role in the team, because it is the first time that a European has occupied this position. I hope to be able to increase my experience with the team, the riders and the world of MotoGP, to try to lead the Repsol Honda team to peak performance.”
What do you think of the new design for the RC213V?
“I like the new look, with more white and the Repsol and Honda colours mixed together. It’s a good combination that is a throwback to the old Repsol bikes –which were iconic in the world of motorsport, but has a fresh touch that I like and that I hope everyone else likes too.”
Source: Repsol Media
Photo: Gareth Bouch for Vroom Media