Jordi Torres interview: “I’ll keep working hard to keep this dream alive”
He might not have followed the same route to the Moto2 World Championship as the majority of his rivals but the main thing is that he is here. After winning the Spanish and European Championships in consecutive seasons Jordi Torres finally got to fulfil his World Championship dream this year, proving that hard work eventually has its rewards. The MAPFRE Aspar rider has taken many small steps before making the giant leap that saw him clinch not only his first podium at this level at the Sachsenring circuit last Sunday but also his first win. Screaming in his helmet as he crossed the line, Jordi announced his arrival on the world stage in loud and resounding style.
How many times had you dreamed of Sunday’s win?
Honestly, never. Well, I mean, obviously every rider dreams of winning races. I knew I was doing things well and working hard to improve slowly. This habit of working hard every day, of not leaving things until tomorrow, is what has led us to the point where we had everything in place to go out and win. I am a realist, I knew we were on the right lines but I certainly didn’t think we were ready to win yet, maybe because I am too hard on myself. As far as I could see we needed to have everything more clear if we were going to win but on Sunday I realised this was my chance. Sachsenring was a good circuit for us and we got the most out of our package, which was the crucial thing. In such a tough category like Moto2 you have to make the most of opportunities when they come along because it is not every week that all the various factors fall in your favour.
Your first podium and your first win… you missed a couple of steps out!
And the first race I had led – I got the whole thing back to front! [laughs] This victory came about because we ask more of ourselves every day and this will help us push even more in the future. Maybe the win will help me get over any complex I might have, because now I know I can be at the front from beginning to end. It is a victory for consistency and we can’t lose sight of how it happened because Moto2 is a category that can quickly catch you out and the moment you take your eye of your game you can lose a lot of positions. This win will help us remain consistent to the end of the season.
Was it how you imagined it?
I don’t know, I’m not sure how to answer that. We knew our pace was good after practice but Pol had the edge and then in the race it was the other way around. Luckily situations can change in race conditions. The positive thing was that we had pace, we qualified near the front and then made the most of it. I felt comfortable behind Pol, I was able to push when I thought it was the right time and thankfully he couldn’t stay with me. What I did know was that there are not many passing opportunities at this track so I had to take my chance.
They say you never forget your first win…
Jorge called me on Monday morning to congratulate me and remind me of that! I doubt I will ever forget it. But what I do hope is that the achievement is eclipsed by even greater things.
Were you able to take it all in?
When I crossed the line I did. I was very conscious of the fact that I couldn’t afford to back off for a second until I saw that chequered flag. I was super concentrated on my riding but when I crossed the line I felt a massive release of adrenaline. I spent half a lap screaming inside my helmet and all kinds of things went through my head. That win released a lot of tension that has been building in me for many years. It was an indescribable feeling.
What was your first thought when you crossed the line?
‘This can’t be real,’ was the first thing I thought. Then I got tired of screaming. It reminded me a little of the CEV [Spanish Championship], when I would go out and be running with the lead pack but holding something back until the moment came to make a break. For a moment I wasn’t sure if I had just won in the World Championship or Spanish Championship. I couldn’t quite believe it.
Had you planned to make the pass in turn twelve? Or what was your plan?
I had noticed over a number of laps that I was braking later than the others into there. As the race progressed I realised it would probably be the best place to overtake, the least risky. Then on that particular lap I noticed Pol brake a little early so I decided to go for it. The tyres were starting to drop off but I knew that we had the set-up to keep the pace up.
Where did this victory come from?
It all started at home, playing on the games console, watching videos from past races and taking as many notes as possible. I also tried to think back to 2011 and remember the gear sequence for the whole lap. All this prior work made things a little easier when we actually got out on track on Friday. This preparation was fundamental because I already felt good about the weekend before I even got to the track. Regardless of whether or not I like them, circuits that flow from corner to corner seem to suit me. On Thursday I worked hard with the mechanics and we started to put things together.
Does this victory put you into the category of riders who have had to work for their opportunity?
Well, I think that if you constantly work hard you can achieve whatever objective you set yourself. I have always said that [in Spain] we have the best national championship in the world and that is proved by the level of riders we have in every category of Grand Prix. Maybe I have had to follow a slightly different route to the majority of my rivals but this victory is proof that anything can happen if you refuse to throw in the towel. I have been a substitute rider for the past two years and I have had to win the Spanish and European Championships for two years too but in the end I am here and it is down to hard work. That makes me very proud. It has been tough for me to get this opportunity, which is why I appreciate it so much. Now I am here I will continue working.
How much has your relationship with the MAPFRE Aspar Team helped you towards this first win?
My relationship with the MAPFRE Aspar Team is above and beyond the normal boundaries. We all travel together and spend every day together from the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed. The rest of the team members are my advisors, my colleagues, my friends. Even though everybody knows what their job is we have fun and that’s the secret to a good working atmosphere. Everybody deserves this win because everybody has been pulling in the same direction.
Nice way to go into the holidays…
What better way than with a win? Even so we will keep working during the summer break because the second half of the championship will be tough and we need to be ready.
Overall how do you assess a first half of the season that ended in such spectacular fashion?
We set ourselves the target of being regularly in the top ten and we have done that so we can gives ourselves a ‘pass’! [laughs] When things have gone well we have been where we should be and when they haven’t gone so well we have worked hard to improve. We have to be satisfied with the job we have done so far. At the end of the day this is my first full season in the Moto2 World Championship. I am fighting with riders I have watched and admired since I was a kid, a lot of guys who I have looked up to. The fact I am actually here is a bonus! My objective is to keep working hard so that I can keep this dream alive.
Source: Aspar Media