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MotoGP, Zeelenberg: "Yamaha doesn't want to go faster than Ducati on the straight"

"The goal is not to be easily passed  and destroy the tires to make up for lost time. The best memory of 2019? The double win in  Jerez on Saturday."

MotoGP: Zeelenberg: "Yamaha doesn't want to go faster than Ducati on the straight"


The MotoGP is getting ready to start again. The date seems to be July 19th in Jerez, and the riders are starting to prepare almost four months after the last tests in Losail. Among those that had planned for a season full of great results from those tests was certainly the Petronas team, backed by the speed of its talented riders and by the good responses from the new M2 2020.

"Yamaha has taken a pretty big step forward in terms of speed," Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg said in a video on the team's Facebook page. "We were losing too much on the straight last year. Now we're faster, yet not at a Ducati level, but maybe that's not our goal. We want faster bikes to make sure that when we're up front, no one can easily pass us on the straight and lead us to destroying the tires in order to make up for lost time."

Besides technical questions, Wilco answered questions from fans.

What is life like in the Petronas team garage?

“In a race weekend, there are always lots of emotions, and Fabio and Franco are two very respectful guys. We have a great team. We laugh a lot when we can and have a lot of fun in our job. We always try to do the best we can to make them express their full potential. We're very ambitious."

What's the most important memory of the 2019 season?

“Surely the best memory of last season also coincides with the most surprising moment. I'm talking about Quartararo's pole position in Jerez ahead of Morbidelli. It's always difficult to have two happy riders at the same time, and we did on that Saturday."

"Do you prefer the two-stroke bikes from  the old top class or the current MotoGP bikes?

“It's a difficult question. In my heart, I'm still a two-stroke rider and, if I have to choose as a rider, I'd choose those bikes. But, if I have to speak as a team manager, I'd change my answer and choose the current MotoGP bikes, because the're geared towards the future, and we could no longer move forward with the two-stroke. The top class has grown a lot, and the competition is very high."

What are the secrets to becoming a MotoGP mechanic?

“To become a mechanic, you have to have a lot of experience and knowledge of the paddock. You also need luck and knowledge. To learn how to be a good mechanic, you also need national championships."

Do you prefer your current role as team manager or was being a rider better?

My favorite role is certainly that of a rider. The thrill of taking a bike to its limit. I really like my job now, but being a rider is better."

Translated by Leila Myftija

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