“This year will be really tough, because everyone is fast and knows the class better”

26/02/2013

Arthur Sissis prepares for second World Championship season, aiming to feature more regularly on the podium in a tough category.

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Having completed a rainy test last week in Jerez, Arthur Sissis reviews the work done this preseason with the new KTM bike, as part of Red Bull KTM Ajo. The Australian rider has competed for the team since last year, achieving a podium in his home race at Phillip Island. This season, Sissis is confident step of taking a step up in performance, but knows that Moto3 will be an even tougher battleground in 2013.

What is your assessment of the tests in Almeria, Valencia and Jerez?
“The most recent test in Jerez was not entirely good, because most of the time we had wet conditions and on the only dry day we didn’t do many laps. In Valencia we were pretty good, although it’s not one of my favourite tracks, and testing in Almeria served as a first contact with the new bike. During the three tests we have accumulated kilometers and I feel pretty good about the bike.”

Last year you had a podium in Australia. What are your goals this year?
“I want to get more podiums, but I think this year it is going to be really difficult. All the riders are still very fast. Personally, I hope to finish this season on the podium more times, maybe take victory at Phillip Island, and improve my final position in the championship.”

How are your rivals looking this season?
“I think this year is going to be really competitive. All riders are going really fast and this year they are more familiar with Moto3 machinery. KTM, Honda and the rest have taken steps forward. All bikes are very evenly matched and the riders are fast, so it’s going to be tough.”

What do you need to be at the front at every race?
“I need to work harder to get better positions in qualifying, so we can be up with the frontrunners in the race.”

Aki and his team have taken three titles in six years. What is the most important aspect in this team?
“I think Aki himself. He has put together a very professional team and is a very good team manager. If you get a podium or win, you can celebrate, but then he’ll get your feet back on the ground, knowing that the next race is going to be even harder than the one that you just finished. He brings you back to reality and makes you work just as intensely for the next race. I think that’s really good.”

Do you think the Red Bull Rookies Cup is a good breeding ground for young riders?
“I think it is probably one of the best for those who do not have sponsors, but can ride well. If you do well enough there, you automatically get a place in the World Championship. Instead, in the Spanish Championship you need financial support and you have nothing guaranteed.”

What does the number 61 mean to you?
“One of the first bikes we bought already had the number 61 on it, because it was a second-hand bike. It’s simply that I have kept that number since I was six years old.”

This year will live in Spain. Why have you made this decision?
“Because last year I lived in Austria and it was quite boring, there is not much to do there. I had bikes at my disposal but no way to ride them. In Spain, all riders are fast because they can go out on a bike almost every day. There are circuits for SuperMotard, Motocross, all kinds of disciplines. And the weather is better in Spain.”

Do you like living in Europe?
“Not really. I don’t like living in Europe too much. I’m from Australia and I think that there is the best place in the world, but I have to live here. I had to find the best place in Europe and I think that is Spain, which is where I live now.”

What do you most miss about Australia?
“Everything. The weather, the people, my friends and my family. Also my house and my bed. Everything.”

What do you like most about Spain?
“The good weather… and the pretty girls.”

Do you miss racing Speedway?
“I miss riding Speedway bikes, but not competing in that type of racing. Not that I don’t like racing, but riding by myself with those bikes was really fun. Simply going round and trying new things out.”

What did you learn from those bikes?
“Mostly I learned to slide with the bike, to control the throttle and the rear wheel behaviour.”

How would you describe your teammates –Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin?
“During the tests, we spend most of our time together. Last year I also had Fahmi as a teammate of sorts, even if we were not strictly on the same team. He is a very good guy. As for Luis, I met him at the end of last season and he is nice.”

If you could, what would you take from each of them for yourself?
“Luis is very good. He always goes fast and on the track he is very aggressive. Fahmi is very smooth but also very fast. It’s going to be hard to beat them.”

Do you have a favourite rider?
“I like Rossi, obviously. My favourite MotoGP rider is him, but I like other riders in the world of Speedway.”

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