Nico Terol interview: “I’m sure it can be a great season”
By his own admission Nico Terol struggled to adapt to the most closely contested series in the World Championship last year but now he is ready to bash fairings with the very best. A podium finish in the final round of 2012 at Valencia, his home race and the circuit that saw him crowned 125cc World Champion in 2011, meant he could head into winter testing high on confidence and form. Hard work throughout the preseason schedule has seen him and his Suter machine consistently at the sharp end of the timesheets and there is no reason why he can’t be a contender, although with so many old heads on the grid this year it is sure to be as tough as ever. But Nico knows he has the potential to be a podium regular and could spring more than the odd surprise before the season is out.
Preseason is over. What is your feeling after so many days of hard work?
I am satisfied. We have improved a lot on last year. I feel more comfortable on the bike and I am setting fast times on a consistent basis, you could say they are coming more easily. In conclusion it’s been a positive preseason, we are several steps further forward than we were at this stage last year. Obviously we can still improve and that’s what we have to strive to do but we are on the right lines. We will start the season in good shape.
Are you ready for the first GP of the season?
Yeah, we still need to work with the clutch to improve the engine braking but apart from that I feel ready.
What would make Nico Terol happy on the Monday after Qatar?
Knowing that I have performed to the best of my potential and fought in the lead group. I want to be realistic but the winter testing results suggest we can be fighting for the podium.
Who are the favourites for the Moto2 title this year?
Right now I’m looking at Pol and Julito as the guys to beat. Nakagami was also fast at Jerez, my team-mate Jordi has a lot of experience and if he can adapt to this category he’ll be running at the front. Rabat has surprised me with his consistency in preseason. Redding, Kallio. in Moto2 you could just about name anybody on the grid.
What is the new Suter like?
It feels more ‘mine’ than last year’s bike. Now I am able to make it go where I want it to but last year I was pretty lost in a lot of races. It is a demanding bike that needs to be set up perfectly to be able to ride it smoothly. When it is set up right I get a great feeling from it and it turns much better than last year’s bike.
What other differences are there compared to last year?
The biggest difference is in turning. I don’t have to fight to get it through the corners anymore, which means I can prepare better for the corner exit and get on the gas where I want.
What are its strong points and where can it be improved?
We could do with a little more confidence from the front in corner entry. Even though the bike turns well already, better handling would make it perfect. The strong point is its stability in the fast corners. That’s where we are making up time. It also has much better grip.
What is your objective for 2013?
Last year was a lean season so I am hungry. My objective is to enjoy myself on the bike and the podium at Valencia proved that I can do it. I want to give my best, like I did when I won the 125 title in 2011, and try to be up front every weekend. I am lucky that I am not under the pressure that the title favourites like Pol or Julito might be. Without that pressure on me I am sure it can be a great season.
What do you think about the new minimum weight of 215kg?
It’s not a bad idea. Personally it is neither an advantage or disadvantage to me because I am right on the weight anyway, so I’ve not given it much thought.
After a year of adaptation to Moto2, the 2013 version Nico Terol looks like a completely different rider…
I am much more used to this category. I accept that I am a rider that takes small steps but always in a forward direction. Obviously I have struggled more than I would have liked to adapt but the podium at Valencia changed my mentality. It focused me for the winter because my objectives had changed overnight. My training plan, my mentality when I get up in the mornings, everything changed. I know we are on the path we need to be on now and I am going to Qatar feeling much more sure about myself.
Source: Aspar Media