The third annual fanclub summer fiesta in Talavera seems to have been a big hit yesterday with hundreds of fans attending the festivities, even including well-known Spanish journalist Mela Chércoles.
While Chércoles was there to enjoy the atmosphere and take in all the nice things Álvaro’s hometown has to offer, other attending journalists of course took the opportunity to ask Álvaro once more about his plans for next season and although he couldn’t give any definite answers, he went into a bit more detail about the offers he currently has than he did in previous interviews.
As we’ve reported earlier, Álvaro’s choice is between three different manufacturers. Suzuki is very interested to continue working with him, but he also confirmed that he has offers from Tech3 Yamaha as well as from the Aspar Ducati team which plans to run with two bikes next season.
However, Álvaro made clear that this decision is not his main concern at the moment and that he is instead more focused on “trying to do well for the rest of this year than to think about the next at all” although having that much interest in him does make him calmer. “Fortunately I have several offers and it is a matter of feeling, seeing which one is the most interesting for us and make a decision.”
The interest many teams now show in him has been hard-earned with the vast efforts he made to improve the Suzuki which is clearly starting to show on track: “This is not just from sitting around and being lucky, it’s because all the teams see the work I’m doing with the Suzuki, a bike that last year was the worst on the grid and now many people say it is not bad.”
And coming this far wasn’t easy: “This is not done by magic, behind all this is a job; the teams know that I’ve practically made this bike – clearly together with my team and the factory, but it’s been me to give the instructions to follow a path that has always lead up and that is why there are other teams interested in me.”
Now, the possible material to work with next year will be for him what tips the balance one way or another. “Suzuki still really don’t know what bike to use next year, if the 1000cc or the 800cc, so we’re waiting a bit, we also have offers from Ducati, Yamaha… but we have to see under which conditions, because I like to have the best possible material to try to be competitive.”
And this would likely mean a 1000cc bike: “If now with the 800cc it’s hard for us to be competitive against other 800cc bikes, fighting with 1000cc is a bit more difficult; then I would want a 1000cc bike.” But that would not be the only condition, what’s also very important for Álvaro is “that the factory of the bike I ride supports me; it is clear that I couldn’t get official treatment in the case of Ducati and Yamaha because they already have official teams, but that I would have their support. We’ll have to see the conditions, but it is very important to have the support of the factories.”
These conditions are also considered in the case of the Aspar Team to which he could return after claiming the 125cc title in 2006 with them: “We need to talk to the people at Ducati, because it’s clear that what we want is that the factory is behind us to support us; then we have to see what conditions they would give us and of course we can’t rule out the Aspar team. I spent my best years in the championship with them and I think it is a great team with great experience and not a bad option.”
Thanks to the improvements of the bike, Álvaro has recently shown some of his best races in the MotoGP class and he’s now savoring the good times after the bitter pill he had to swallow at the start of the year with his crash in Qatar: “In the last few races I think we’ve reached a good level and we are more constant.” So in the final five races of the 2011 season he’ll be “trying to follow that line and see if we can be closer to the second group, because the first one is a step above, but the second group is reachable and we will fight to be with them.”
One of the last races this year will be the Japanese Grand Prix on October 2nd. The race has has generated a lot of controversy because after being postponed due to the massive earthquake that hit the country in March, the Motegi circuit is only about 100km from the Fukushima nuclear plant which was damaged by the earthquake.
Álvaro negates that the riders are divided in their decision to go and, on the contrary, are on the same side: “We don’t really want to go to Japan, but in the end it is just one more race.” He acknowledged that there are reports to certify that “there should be no danger, so we have no choice but to go. It is clear that maybe we go with a little more fear than to other races, but we have contracts and we have to comply, because that’s what we are paid for.”
Source: La Tribuna de Talavera