The WEC World Championship starts in a few days. Can you share some of your thoughts and expectations for the 2011 season?
"My goal for this season is to improve on my third overall place in E2 last year. This was a very positive result when we consider that I was racing against two of the best riders in the world - Ivan Cervantes and Mika Ahola. It was great to be on the podium at the end of the season. This year I asked for a 250 4-stroke bike to race in the E1 class and KTM gave me the OK, so I start the season with the intention of playing all my cards and going for the title. I know it won't be easy because this is a tough class and there are four or five riders who can easily win races. These include my teammate Eero Remes but also very good riders like Juha Salminen and Rodrig Thain. I'll be on the start with the intention of winning, so let's see what will happen."
Is there one rider that you think might be a favorite in this class?
"For sure my teammate Eero Remes has to be a favorite. I think He's really fast, maybe even the fastest. He's very impressive, especially on the cross test. But sometimes he makes mistakes; maybe I am not as fast as Eero, so I will try to be as consistent as possible this season. I want to win as many points as possible."
Last weekend you raced in the Spanish National Championship and the result was pretty good. What are your thoughts on that?
It was very positive for me but we did make one silly mistake when we lost the time check card and had to take a 10 second penalty. We didn't realize that the rules for the Spanish Championship are different to the WEC or the Italian Championship in this regard. Having said that I did generally have a good race. My physical condition is pretty good and I also felt very good for the two days we spent racing in Sardinia in the Italian championship, even though I came second on the second day after I made a mistake in the Enduro test. I have to improve a little more in the mud sections with my new bike, I spent the winter training mostly on hard pack surfaces but t's all under control and the feeling is getting better and better.
What do you expect from the first two GP's in Spain and Portugal?
"As far as I know both of these rounds will be very tough, especially in Spain. Also the first race of the season is always different. You are still not at the top of your form because the season is long and you need to manage your physical condition over a long period because you need to be fit right up until the final races. You also don't know how good your main competitors are at the beginning of the season. Everybody wants to win so it's important to get off on the right foot and push hard right from the beginning."
Introducing Thomas Oldrati
What KTM Enduro Factory Team boss Fabio Farioli says about Thomas Oldrati
"Thomas Oldrati comes from Bergamo in Italy so he was born into the world of KTM Enduro. He's really strong on the extreme and difficult Enduro tests because he's used to working hard when he rides at home in Italy. That's where Enduro is really at home!"
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