Interview with Michael Bartholemy, General Manager Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
To be successful at the very top level of motorcycle racing you have to be motivated, committed and proactive; all qualities we have in common with Europe Energy, so it’s a perfect fit for.
Last season has been fantastic, culminating in Franco’s victory of the Moto2 World title. What do you expect from next season?
We go into 2018 looking for more of the same in Moto2. In Álex Márquez we have a rider who is more than capable of challenging for the Moto2 World Championship title this season. This will be Álex’s fourth season with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. Last year he won three races and was on the podium three more times but I’m confident he can surpass that this season. Joan may be new to the Moto2 World Championship, but he arrives as the reigning Moto3 World Champion and we’ve seen already during testing that he is adapting quickly to our Kalex Moto2 bike. I fully expect him to be challenging for podium finishes and maybe even race wins by mid-season.
Franco and Thomas are new to the MotoGP, as well as Joan to the Moto2. How do you think they will adjust to the new class?
The step up from Moto2 to MotoGP is a big one and we’ve seen a lot of riders falter in the past. I don’t think this is going to be the case with Franco. He’s undoubtedly one of the most naturally talented riders we’ve had in the team, but he backs this up with a good work ethic and a very methodical approach. We’ve already seen him make big steps in testing and I’m confident that if pre-season testing goes to plan, by the time we arrive in Qatar for the opening race of the season he’ll be in a position to challenge for a top ten finish.
Tom’s start to his MotoGP career hasn’t been a smooth one, to say the least. He was unable to participate in the post-season tests last year because of an injury sustained in Malaysia, but he’s been working hard over the winter to get back to full fitness and he’s ready to start his MotoGP adventure in Malaysia at the end of January. He’s facing a steep learning curve, but he’s a rider with a lot of experience and I’m confident that he will adapt quickly to the demands of racing a MotoGP bike like our Honda RC213V. From what we’ve seen of Joan already in post-season testing his adaptation to our Kalex Moto2 machine will be fairly rapid. Like Franco and Tom he has a lot to learn, but he has a very experienced team behind him and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him up at the front very quickly in 2018.
How important are sponsors for your Team and what do you think about the partnership with our company?
We prefer the word partner, as the people and companies who support us in our racing activities really are our partners. Without them we wouldn’t be able to race and all of our partners are an integral part of our team. For us it is very important to have the backing of a company that operates not just in a single country but also worldwide. We race in a championship that spans 15 countries and five of the seven continents, so we are truly international. I am very happy to have Europe Energy onboard with us this year. To be successful at the very top level of motorcycle racing you have to be motivated, committed and proactive; all qualities we have in common with Europe Energy, so it’s a perfect fit for.