Interview with Gianluca Montiron ahead of round eight of the Championship at Donington Park Gianluca Montiron, General Manager of JiR Team Scot analyses both the results so far and strategic matters concerning the first half of the MotoGP season...
Interview with Gianluca Montiron ahead of round eight of the Championship at Donington Park
Gianluca Montiron, General Manager of JiR Team Scot analyses both the results so far and strategic matters concerning the first half of the MotoGP season and what could be in store for the future.
Gianluca, you have many years of experience in the premier class of motorcycle racing, but now after seven races what do you think about the championship so far and your targets for the team?
"Our aim is to be in the top five in the championship and this remains our target for the season. We wanted to create a team around the sole rider we have in MotoGP to create the ideal conditions for Andrea Dovizioso to thrive in. Andrea has shown to be a very fast rider and consistent. He now needs to achieve the necessary experience race-by-race to improve continually and have the perfect feeling with his bike. Obviously to do this we are looking forward to a podium finish, which is the main target for us this season. This is his first year in MotoGP so it's important for this reasons in my opinion to not have an over-aggressive approach. This would not give us the results we are looking for."
Tell us something about the difference between a privately-run satellite team such as yours and a ‘works' full-factory outfit.
"As in everything there are positive and some not so positive factors about the difference from both a technical point of view and sponsor's view. In technical matters there is a gap between a private machine and a factory machine, but this gap will be closer soon between the official team and us. After two full seasons have passed under the 800cc rule, I'm sure that in 2009 Honda will provide to the satellite teams bikes that are much more similar to the factory team's machinery. From a sponsor's perspective, private teams can offer a good approach and investment opportunity. We can build a programme, which is more suitable for prospective partners and which is more flexible that that offered by a manufacturer-run works team. And still there are many opportunities to exploit this. For example, Honda in Japan is building a limited-edition run of 500 Honda CBR600RR replicas in the colours of our 2007 sport season."
So, Gianluca, what of the future?
"This year we have had big changes in terms of organization and investment. We are pushing hard, we believe in our young rider and we are working to have an even better season next year. I do think that our team can offer technical guarantees to move forward in the same positive direction in 2009. I definitely know that Honda is a company that understands the value and skills of a team and right at this moment Honda knows exactly what to do."
MotoGP is becoming year-by-year an incredible event and brand, with big interest from fans and the public as well as media and TV, what about the prospects of big sponsors?
"We have the need to offer a service to our partners which is new and innovative and also much more creative. This is why JiR together with our team in MotoGP owns another team, which participates in the 125cc Italian Road Racing Championship. Another important project this year has been the Motodromo di Castelletto di Branduzzo, close to Milan, which is sort of an arena for motorsport with a 1.9km long track, and where we can offer events, and entertainment, a full 360 degree package. We do have a fleet of exclusive bikes perfect for the riding school and for riding education and bike training. Recently we hosted the Grand Prix of Europe, part of the Supermoto World Championship and we are also the promoter of the World Cycling Championships, which will be held in Varese from 22-28 September. Such initiatives are our calling card… we don't just think of only the simple sponsorship ways, but instead we do believe in opportunities that companies can also be our partners. Investment gives results in the future, but so far I do think we're the first team to offer a full service and full promotion so this is why we're looking forward to combine our image with a big name in sponsorship in order to create a medium to long-term agreement."