Augusto interview: “If we have the budget, I would like to fight for the FIM CEV title until the end”
With three podiums out of three in the first two rounds of his first complete season at the FIM CEV Repsol European Moto2 Championship, Augusto is running strongly in the battle for the title, placed in second position in the general standings, just 10 points behind the leader, Jesko Raffin.
We interview Augusto during the third European Moto2 Championship round at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, so he can tell us his feelings in this first part of the championship with the easyRace Moto2 Team (the project he came back to after his first Moto2 World Championship season), how he sees the fight for the 2018 title and much more.
- How was the return to the FIM CEV Repsol after your experience last year taking part of the Moto2 World Championship for the first time?
At first, it was hard because I finished well last season and I saw myself with the strengh to keep improving and make a good season this year at the World Championship.
- Could you tell us how the preseason was until you knew in the last moment you were going to come back to the easyRace Moto2 Team Project at FIM CEV Repsol?
I finished the season at the World Championship with the hope of staying there. During the preseason I trained hard anyway so when we got here, I felt well because I was strong. We weren’t able to do preseason tests, but I came here ready, we got the pole position in the first race, actually. Afterwards, it’s been hard regarding to the bike, as we don’t have the best one, but we keep moving forward and we aren’t far.
- How did the opportunity of racing with the easyRace Moto2 Team came?
It was hard also to find a motorbike here, because we needed money, and, at last, hopefully we came to an agreement with the easyRace. We’re going race by race, I’m not riding the whole season as a registered rider. We’re tyring to find the money to be able to be in each race. We have very few materials, we don’t have a box or truck, we have a van… In a humble way, but the important thing is to be there and we’re second in the championship, so it’s not that bad.
- How do you see yourself in the fight for the championship? Do you think it’s going to be just you and Jesko Raffin or that another rider could join the battle?
We’re 10 points back, we’re close, we just need something else, because to cut points out from Jesko, we need to start winning races. It’s not easy because we’re always lacking of something, I’m at the limit in all the circuits. That’s why sometimes I need to content myself, like in Valencia with a third place or in Estoril with a second. I do believe the fight for the title is going to be between the two of us because Edgar had two zeros in the first round, he’s always going to finish in the first three places, he’s going to be on the podium, but to reach us… Unless I make a mistake, or Jesko, but Jesko doesn’t usually make many mistakes in the races, so the two zeros are going to penalise Edgar because this is a short championship.
- Even though now the main goal is become FIM CEV Repsol champion, if you were offered a seat in the middle of season in a Moto2 World Championship team, would you take it or you would prefer to finish FIM CEV Repsol season, become European Moto2 Champion and then make the ultimate jump to the World Championship?
If I have the budget to stay at the FIM CEV, I would like to finish it, as we’re in the fight for the title, and be able to make the ultimate jump to the World Championship being a champion here. But without having assured the budget to keep going race by race, when the budget is over… and if it’s over and then there comes a chance to be in the World Championship and there is a race the next week, that would be awesome, but I really would like to finish this championship, fight for the title, if we get it and, if not, being the runner-up… In conclusion, I would love to finish what we started, but, as I said, right now we don’t have the budget to make the whole season, we’re looking for it race by race. At this moment we don’t have it for Aragón, we came here with the tight money, and from now to Aragon round we have to look for the necessary money for the next race.
- To close this interview, a question about the latest MotoGP market news:what’s your opinion about MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo move from Ducati to Honda becoming Marc Márquez teammate?
It was surprising, I didn’t expect it at all. I thought he would go to Yamaha satellite or something like that, but he moves to a really good team and to be Márquez teammate… That makes it a ‘dream team’.