Miodrag Kotur is a new name for motorcycling, but not for motorsports. He was Jean Todt’s right-hand man at Ferrari in the days of Michael Schumacher. Now he is the team manager for Leopard, a team that first came on the scene last year, winning the Moto3 Championship with Kent.
In the GPOneCar at Assen he spoke to us about the differences between the two worlds.
“Bikes are a bit different and they remind me a lot of Formula 1 in the ‘90s. It is a more open world with fans of all ages – he explains – During the week there is no technical work on the bikes, as happens in F1 or MotoGP, but preparations are made during the weekend. The race also surprised me, because we are no longer allowed to make changes to the bike management, unlike the rules of car racing.”
In recent months there have been rumours that Leopard could jump up to the top category.
“There is always an idea to move up to MotoGP – he confirms – but for the moment it is a difficult step. We are only in our second year and we need to wait.”
You’ve already had some satisfaction, though, with a title in 2015, even if you had some difficulties toward the end.
“We should have clinched it at Aragon, but Danny made a rookie mistake – he recounts – He was under a lot of pressure and was unable to handle it. He was afraid of making a mistake and at a certain point I thought we could have lost the Championship. In the last race, before leaving the garage, he was almost weeping and those two tears maybe helped him to finish the job.”
It is at those times that the team management experience comes out, especially when you had a teacher like Todt.
“He taught me precision, organisation and never to give up, but to change things, like we did at Ferrari.”
Unthinkable not to ask Kotur what he expects from Ferrari in F1.
“Against Mercedes it’s tough. They have invested a lot, but I’m told that they are working hard at Maranello also”, he ensures us.
And in MotoGP who is the favourite?
“I’m cheering for Valentino Rossi and I hope he wins the title. When he lapped with the Ferrari he was fast. He is a hard worker, like all champions.”
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