31 October 2012 - 10:36
TG meets Moto GP rider Alvaro Bautista
What are your thoughts about Moto GP coming to India next year?
Well, I think it’s about time now. With F1 having come last year this country needs more international motorsports events. I’ve heard that the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) track looks really nice and is designed brilliantly with a good mix of high-speed straights and tight corners as well. I’m looking forward to the circuit next year and am sure it will be exciting to see India on the MotoGP calendar after the country opening to F1 last year.
How did you get started riding bikes?
Actually it was my father’s passion for bikes that rubbed off on me. He was a mechanic who used to tinker around with bike engines all the time. I was three years old when he made me a 50cc automatic small bike for fun. By the time I turned eight I was racing in local championship events. I haven’t stopped since then.
Who is your personal Moto GP idol?
Michael Doohan would be my main idol. I really liked the way he took on everyone and completely ruled the field. It’s not easy being a five-time world champion in our sport. I am sure he is the greatest of all time. I really learnt a lot from his riding style and how smooth he was with his bikes. If there’s anyone I want to emulate its Mike.
In Moto GP, what makes a good racer?
Well, lots of elements. First and foremost you really need to enjoy riding bikes. If you don’t then you won’t get far. Secondly, fitness is very critical. If you aren’t fit then you can’t last long enough during the race or the season. Luck is also important. You need to stay away from any major injuries, which could threaten your career. A very important ingredient is also the fact that you have a good team behind you. These are things that ideally make a successful racer in any format.
What are the challenges that youngsters like you face?
Since I am not from a factory team, it’s always a bit tough to get the best engine updates from the engine suppliers, which is understandable. Apart from that I am very lucky to have a good support staff. Sometimes the bonding in smaller teams like ours is a lot better and it shows in the results as well.
How has Castrol helped out with the team this year?
Castrol’s importance in the overall scheme cannot be understated. As you know each circuit is different with different heat conditions, engine revs requirements, bends and corners. Castrol Power 1 has helped the team with great results that have resulted in two podium finishes recently. I am very happy that Castrol is promoting safe riding culture across India. I met some riders recently here and am happy to note that they were all aware of safety as much as about speed and performance, it’s a good sign for the future.
What’s your current goal?
Right now, it’s simply to get to as many podiums as I can. In the long run win races and win a championship. Winning a championship really tells the world that this guy was the best that year, so that’s something I really want to do.
Last question, which is your favourite circuit?
That’s simple. I really liked the Malaysian circuit very much. It’s a very easy flowing circuit and has a nice mix of everything. The corners and straights are well balanced which means that any engine advantage is really negated, its all to your riding talent there.