Interview: Aleix Espargaro talks about building his CEV dream
NGM Forward Racing’s MotoGP star Aleix Espargaro is not only a rider himself, he also runs a team in the FIM CEV Repsol series, based in Spain.
Espargaro had long dreamt of becoming a team manager as well as a rider and this year he heads up a project which sees three riders representing his team – Ricky Cardus in Moto2™ and Gabriel Rodrigo and MakarYurchenko in Moto3™.
In a happy coincidence, like Espargaro himself all three riders were present at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. Cardus remained as the Tech 3 substitute for the injured Alex Mariñelarena, Rodrigo lined up as a Moto3 wild card, whilst Yurchenko was there running in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
Here Aleix provides an insight into the process behind becoming a FIM CEV Repsol team manager…
What led you to start this project?
“It’s always been a dream of mine to start a team, because I love bikes, I like young people. I want to use my experience and share what I’ve done well and what has not gone so well for me, so that others can learn from my mistakes. It mainly started from me having the same physical trainer as Gabi Rodrigo and we had the idea to make a team. We went for it and we’ve put it together in a short space of time. For me it is like a dream and I’m very happy with how it’s working.”
Why did you decide to run three riders?
“Obviously the team had to involve Gabi at the heart of things as the idea came from him. I mean he’s a guy who didn’t know how to race bikes three years ago, but by the start of last year he was fighting to score points and get into the top ten. We did a great job this winter and has it has all progressed a lot. With Makar he’s a young guy who has great potential, he’s riding in the Rookies Cup this year and we want him to develop with our philosophy of racing. In Moto2 Ricky is my friend and after riding in Grand Prix last year he was really excited about returning to the CEV.I had not considered doing Moto2 but if I was going to do it then it would have to be with him on board.”
What is the philosophy you want to instill in your riders?
“They are three very different riders. Ricky is an experienced rider and with him the only goal is to win. Gabi is still learning, he hasn’t been riding long but he is making amazing progress and taking steps forward that I wouldn’t have imagined he could do so quickly. With Makar there is still a lot of work for him to do. In our first test sessions he didn’t know much, he didn’t know how the telemetry worked, had never ridden a Moto3 bike and he didn’t know how to work in a team. Everything was new for him and it’s really nice to be able to coach him.”
What about the team staff?
“I knew I needed people who knew the CEV well. Javidel Amor plays a key role, he is a great friend of mine, and is very much a CEV man. The technical manager is an Australian, Matthew Casey, my World Championship technician. The key is that we have a mixture of enthusiasm and experience.”
Do you know how to delegate or do you like to be involved with everything?
“Everything is new for me. I have to learn about the role, but I am a person who likes to be involved, I like to live the experience and I don’t like delegating. I like the role and help in any way that I can. I get really close to it, I’m passionate about bikes. Maybe I’m wrong or annoying sometimes, but I do it all with the best intention and I still have to learn.”
Source: CEV Repsol