There is no doubt: it will be a bitter weekend. Everything seemed to be in order to redeem the Misano race, but instead the rain reared its ugly head on Sunday afternoon, spoiling Raffaele De Rosa’s plans at the Lausitzring. In fact, the BMW standard-bearer had to settle for tenth place in the race won by Mercado, who became the new Stock1000 leader with just two races left in the season.
He had much different expectations.
“On Friday we were definitely competitive straight away in the dry, always managing to be close to the leaders. On Saturday I even took pole position, even if I had to pay the penalty of moving back four spots on the grid.”
Then the water shuffled the deck.
“Yes, Mercado struggled in the sessions before the race, but then on Sunday he showed that he had a little something more. Unfortunately, I struggled more than expected. Something similar has happened in the past. We are unable to get the tyres up to temperature and there is no grip. It was a determining problem because I lost positions in the race and points in the Championship.”
Now you have Magny Cours, where the weather is always an unknown factor. Aren’t you afraid that a situation similar to Lorenzo’s in MotoGP could occur?
“In the wet the BMW struggles, but we have been able to win, like in the Netherlands, for example. It takes the right confidence, because if you don’t have that you will be slow and the others will take advantage. I like the Magny Cours track. I don’t think I will struggle like Lorenzo in the wet. In fact, I will try to be competitive to make up for the race last weekend.”
You will have to play catch up in these final races.
“Unfortunately, the situation has been reversed. I don’t care about making calculations. I have only one goal: to win the next two races and then we will look at the standings at the end. After Magny-Cours we have Jerez, a track that I like a lot.”
Russo finished on the podium in the last race. Could he become the deciding factor?
“I need to stay focused on myself, trying to achieve the maximum result. Maybe this season I would have expected something more of some other rider, but the only thing that counts is what I can do.”
For the future, there is talk of a SBK that awaits you.
“To be honest, I don’t know anything yet since I still have not spoken with Genesio about it. I am sure that he will give me the best proposal for 2017.”