Interview with Arthur Sissis: “I have to be more consistent all weekend”


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider optimistic about second half of the season and prospect of home race to come.


Arthur Sissis looks back positively on the start to his second year in the World Championship, but believes he still has much to learn.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider believes that he needs to do better in qualifying, in order to fight for the top ten at every race. The Australian wants to focus on continuing to adapt to his new bike and continue the line of work forged at the last few rounds.

Right now you’re twelfth in the overall standings with 39 points. What mark would you give yourself this first half of the season?
“In these first eight races there has been a little bit of everything; some of the races have been very good and some I would have liked to have done much better, so I would probably say six out of ten.”

How would you describe your season so far?
“In the first half of the season I think I had four good races and four in which I did not end up happy. The Qatar Grand Prix and the last three are the ones in which I have been satisfied with my work. In the others I was hoping to do better, but the important thing now is that the feeling with the bike is good and that we are improving.”

Are you satisfied with your progress during the first half of the season?
“The truth is that I’m not, completely. Yes, I’m happy with how we have been doing over the last few races and the feeling we’ve found lately, but I guess I would have liked to have found that earlier.”

What would you have liked to have changed about the first races of the season?
“I think an important point to improve upon from the first half of the season is qualifying. Maybe I need to be a little faster on Saturday to get further up the order. During the last few races we have had a good pace, but possibly we would have done better if we had started from the front row of the grid. Having to start the race riding with slower riders has stopped me from reaching the leading group. Therefore qualifying is a point that I need to improve upon.”

Which race has been your favourite so far?
“For me, the race that I felt best after was Assen. I rode fast and ended up in eighth place. Additionally, I had a nice battle with Jack [Miller] and that was fun. I also had an interesting tussle with Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] in Qatar, at the first race of the season.”

And what has been the worst race?
“The worst? I guess Mugello. It was a difficult weekend at a circuit where I was not feeling comfortable at any time.”

This is your second year in the World Championship. Do you still feel like a rookie or can you tell that you have experience now?
“Right now I’m half expert, half rookie. I believe that I’m amongst the best riders, but only sometimes [laughs]. I am inconsistent. As you say, this is my second year as a rider in the World Championship and personally I think I still have much to learn. I believe that I need to improve some aspects of my riding —especially my consistency.”

What can you say about the KTM this year? What are the main changes from last year’s bike?
“In the last race the bike responded very well and I felt very comfortable. Where we still have to find the best possible setup is in qualifying, because that is where we are lacking. When you get the setup that is best suited to your style of riding, the bike works really well. Last year it was also very easy to ride.”

It seems that this year, there are three riders who are a little further above the rest of the Moto3 grid. How do you see the title fight?
“The truth is that Rins, Viñales and Luis [Salom] are very fast and consistent. Right now, I think they are the three best riders in the class, with the best bike.”

Is it possible to compete with them?
“Yes, why not? If I improve in the qualifying sessions, I can be in the leading group. Fighting with them would be a big step forward for us and I think we are not so far off it.”

After the summer break there are still nine races remaining. What do you expect from this second part of the season?
“To do better than in the first part. My goal is to stay in the top ten. I have to try to finish as high up as possible, beyond tenth or eighth place, and be more consistent in free practice and over the entire weekend. I must find the appropriate setting for each race as quickly as possible, thus achieving good results.”

One race is your home round: The Australian Grand Prix. Do you have more pressure on you after the podium finish last year?
“Honestly, there is no pressure. Last year we got a podium, but this year will still be difficult. With Rins, Salom and Viñales in front of you it is very difficult. They’re very quick, so for now we’ll have to concentrate on working well at every GP.”

Where have you been during this summer break?
“I took advantage of the race in Sachsenring to stay for the first few weeks in Germany with Jack [Miller] so we could disconnect a bit. I trained with him doing mountain biking and MX. The remaining days of the break will be spent in Tarragona (Spain), where I live during the season.”

Tell us a wish for this second half of the season.
“Finishing in the top ten at every race and —why not?— finishing in the top three at one.  I’d love to be on the podium at any race, but winning at Phillip Island would be great.”