Rossi targets Qatar podium

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Rossi was speaking as Yamaha helped unveil the new S

Rossi was speaking as Yamaha helped unveil the new ‘Semakin Di Depan’ logo

Valentino Rossi is targeting a podium on his long awaited return on the Yamaha M1 in Qatar in just over three months time.

The nine times world champion is currently fufilling his Yamaha PR work with an Asian tour, and he is optimistic about what lay ahead.

Gazettadellosport caught up with the Doctor during the PR event, and Rossi seems very focused with what is in store for 2013.

When asked about his age (he turns 34 in February)  Rossi doesn’t see it as a major factor. “I’m reaching a certain age, but I feel good, motivated, and eager. I know it will be difficult after two negative years, but I’m ready. With Yamaha I’ll be better.”

He is also happy with the bike he will be climbing aboard, despite just a hand full of wet laps at the end of season test in Valencia.

“When I tested at the end of the season, I was immediately comfortable. It has improved a lot in acceleration. The engine is now 1000, but you can feel the progress. It’ll be difficult, Honda is motivated and in the last races was strong, but the M1 is competitive.”

When the inevitable team mate questions arose, Rossi was asked if it would be better this team with the duo knowing each other. “Better to know each other. We’re both older now and know what to expect. He has an uncomfortable team mate, but so do I. Even if we had problems sharing a garage last time, we won everything,” replied the Doctor.

He was also asked how he will can beat his team mate, who since last time has claimed two of the three world titles.

“It’ll be hard. His strongest point is that he understands the positive aspects of the Yamaha. He’s the one that rides it the best. I’ll have to take it slowly and more than looking at him, I’ll have to set-up the bike, my team has to be ready, and I have to get on the podium. It will take time to beat Lorenzo: at the start he’ll be faster.”

‘If you don’t win a GP race will it be a big let down?’ A question on everybody’s lips, and the Doctor agrees with the general consensus of fans.

“Yes. The objective is that victory that I haven’t had since 2010. Even if I don’t win, but I’m on the podium every Sunday would be still fine. But a victory is the game changer.”

Although Rossi isn’t getting ahead of himself, and keeping his ambitions fairly low for the season ahead after the harrowing years on the Ducati. “I’d like to have a lot of podiums … at least 10 and finish in the top three.”

It finally ended with a simple question, ‘Where do you see yourself in Qatar?’ Rossi as simple with his reply as the question presented to him. “On the podium. Even if I’m not competitive against Lorenzo and Pedrosa, we can’t be far behind. And then we have to see what Marquez does.”

Pedrosa talks retirement?

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Dani Pedrosa said his 2012 form helped him regain the motivation in MotoGP.

Dani Pedrosa said his 2012 form helped him regain the motivation in MotoGP.

Dani Pedrosa is a three time MotoGP runner up. For the first time in his career he heads into 2013 as the favorite. But how long does he want to race for?

At 27, Dani Pedrosa has already started 184 world championship races, he has  three World Championship titles (one 125 cc, two 250cc) he has amassed 45 Grand Prix victories, with 112 podium finishes along the way.

He is now about to embark on his 13th World Championship racing season. Of those thirteen he is about to start his eighth season with the Repsol Honda team, and is considered a MotoGP veteran now.

So it’s little wonder, when Dani Pedrosa often gets asked how long he wants to stay racing. Valentino Rossi has recently signed a new two-year contract, he will be almost 36 years old when his contract expires, and Colin Edwards will be 39 next month, but he isn’t considering retirement just yet.

Pedrosa currently can not think of another eight years, but the thought of quitting, he simply can’t fathom.

Speaking with Speedweek.de Pedrosa said, ”I started very young, and I came into the World Championship early.

“I already have a long Grand Prix career, but after last year’s success I’m motivated again.

“In 2010 and 2011, however, I was often hurt, I had surgery almost every three months. I often wondered ‘how long I’m going to this’, and ‘where am I to get the motivation’. At that time I often dealt with withdrawal thoughts. I had the feeling that I won’t hurt myself much longer.

“But in 2012, the passion returned to its former strength. I’m not sure how many years I’ll still go in MotoGP.

“Right now I feel that a few good years ahead of me. How many it will be, that I can not predict. “

Camier has screw removed

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Leon Camier has had the screw removed in order to be fit for the season opener at Philip Island next month.

Leon Camier has had the screw removed in order to be fit for the season opener at Philip Island next month.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier has had a screw removed from his wrist.

Following the two recent private World Superbike tests at Almeria and Jerez, the highly rated Camier decided to stay in Spain and underwent minor surgery to remove a screw from his wrist.

The surgery was carried out at the Dexeus Institute, by the rider favorite Dr. Xavier Mir. Dr Mir removed the screw that had been inserted after Camier broke his wrist during qualifying at Nurburgring in 2010, but in the last six months the Suzuki rider has been accusing pain and discomfort while riding.

With the removal of the screw will help avoid inflammation and give the Englishman more wrist movement. He will start his recovery right away, and should be fit not only to race for the first round of the season on February 24th, but also for the two preceding tests at Phillip Island next month.

2013 Cardion AB

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Karel Abraham was on hand to show his new bike to the world.

Karel Abraham was on hand to show his new bike to the world.

Last week it was Ducati, then Honda, now Cardion AB have revealed their 2013 machine.

The Cardion AB team have switched from the Ducati Desmosedici after a disappointing 2012 in which Karel Abraham finished 14th, onto the ART CRT machine, which proved to be the pick of the bunch in the CRT category.

Abraham got his first taste of the ART during the Valencia post-season test which was hampered by rain, and will get a second feeler at the Sepang test in just under two weeks time.

The team however won’t be entitled to the extra two days prior to the test as they are electing for Aprilia electronics rather than the Dorna Magneti Marelli ECU.

The bike which was created by French designer French designer Sebastien Arputzo is instantly recognizable with former Cardion AB machines.

Speaking at the unveiling rider Karel Abraham said, “We have to be prepared for these tests almost as if it were a real race. I want to see to where we stand compared to the fastest CRT riders.

“My first impressions at the Valencia test last year were very good, but since then many things have changed, especially with regards to the electronics, which is expected to have improved top speed.

“This winter I worked on getting physically prepared for the new season. I can’t wait to race with Pesek, it will be a very interesting fight, but much will depend on the bikes and this we’ll be able to understand only racing.”

Trevor Willis third in champions poll

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Trevor Willis third in champions poll

The results of our last online poll are in. Over 1500 of you voted for your favourite champion of 2012 and the results threw up a few surprises.

Coming in a strong first was outgoing nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb, proof that overwhelming success doesn’t make a driver unpopular. Maybe it was genuine appreciation of his achievements; it might also have been a sense of anticipation that made you vote for him, safe in the knowledge that even if he wins all four of the rallies he’s contesting this year, he won’t win the championship.

Another of the modern era’s most dominant drivers came in second: Sebastian Vettel. He still polarises opinion – even in the Motor Sport office we’re alternately astounded and bewildered by him from race to race – but that didn’t stop the votes from piling up.

The real surprise here was that third place was firmly taken by a write-in vote: a first for the website. We thought we were being pretty comprehensive, including most of the major series, but clearly it wasn’t enough. With 197 votes, British Hillclimb Champion Trevor Willis was a very popular man with Motor Sport readers.

race  Trevor Willis third in champions poll

Trevor took his first championship for OMS Racing, a family-run constructor who has been active since 1985. Between 1998 and 2011, Gould were the dominant constructor, taking every title over that stretch. I spoke to Trevor about what pushed OMS over the edge last year.

“Our car’s always had a weakness in the unlimited class,” he says. “It’s struggled with a lack of power compared to the Goulds. We’ve had to develop the car and make it quick in other ways than just being the most powerful. At some venues – like Shelsley and Gurston – we would struggle if the speed wasn’t there, but there were plenty of lower speed, more technical venues where the handling of the car, the aerodynamics and mechanical grip were important.

“This was the second year with the new car, and even that car was an evolution of the previous one. It was a matter of refining it, making it more consistent. Everything we did over the winter seemed to work out and the car had more downforce and grip. I immediately felt like I could compete.”

Trevor’s first BHC title has come at the age of 50. He chuckled at the suggestion that he might be able to move on to bigger things off the back of his success. “I’d love to try other things, but I enjoy hillclimbing, it’s very much where I want to continue. At my age I don’t see it as a stepping stone and you can carry on doing it for longer than other motor sports. It’s very enjoyable; not just the driving, but the social scene and the technical aspect as well.

race  Trevor Willis third in champions poll

“Because it’s an amateur sport it’s very liberal and we can do some radical things. It’s all about having that last tiny bit of set-up, whether you put an extra turn on the left front damper or design a whole new floor. I do a lot of work myself.”

Trevor’s enthusiasm is obvious and you can tell he loves where he is and the people that inhabit the BHC’s modest corner of the sport. Of the fans who voted him into third place above the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Ryan Hunter-Reay, he was quick to say how impressed he is.

“The fans are generally quite knowledgeable because it’s not a mainstream motor sport. You get quite a few who can run through all your history for you and tell you whether that was a personal best or not and what you did two years ago. It takes you by surprise at times; I can’t remember any of that stuff!”

That’s Trevor Willis for you: a modest bloke who also happens to be one of the fastest in the country.

The BHC season opens at Prescott in Gloucestershire on April 27.

race  Trevor Willis third in champions poll

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