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SBK, Canepa: "8 Hours? It'll be a race within a race"

The Italian will start twelfth, but is convinced: "With Mahias and Checa we have the pace and the constancy" 

Canepa: "8 Hours? It'll be a race within a race"

He missed out on the Top 10 Trial, with 0.030 of a second proving fatal. Niccolò Canepa therefore only took part in the final free practice before Sunday's warm-up. The green lights will come on at 4.30 local time, 12.30 CET, with the Yamaha rider starting the race from twelfth.

In the practice you were looking for that extra step in terms of the tyres.

“Exactly. It gave us chance to work more on the 16.5" tyres, but let's say it was a bit of a complicated morning. With the safety car tests, I only completed four laps, without finding anything particular. We're confident anyway, as we've already demonstration our competitiveness in terms of pace, as we did at Portimao for example”.

Tomorrow there's the warm-up and then the race. What will be the key?

“In the warm-up we'll start with a full tank, while in the race I believe consistency will be key. We need to manage the tyres, especially 6-7 laps from the end of each stint, because it's easy to make a mistake and lose time. I'm looking at it like a race within a race. But I'm confident, because both Checa and Mahias are fast and we can reach the top five. There are other teams ahead of us on the grid, but in which one rider doesn't have the same pace as his team-mate”.

How are you coping?

“There's excitement of course, as it's my first 8 Hours, but it's important to relax and rest as well as possible. It's all a lot easier if you can keep calm”.

How tough is it to maintain concentration for 8 hours?

“Very, I think it's one of the determining factors, and one of the areas in which I've worked most. But the team is perfect, every time you stop the team is immediately ready to help each rider ”.

Is Yamaha the favourite?

“I think so. In qualifying they were fast, and also in the Superpole with Pol Espargarò. They have the potential to repeat last year's win”.  

Translated by Heather Watson

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