“I remembered the hard work we have done to get there.”20/04/2021
Raul Fernandez achieved his first victory in the Moto2 class last Sunday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, his third race in the competition.
Raul Fernandez amazed everyone this past Sunday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, claiming his first Moto2 victory just three races into his intermediate class career. The Red Bull KTM Ajo talent had previously earned a podium at the Doha GP earlier this month. In an interview this Tuesday, the Spaniard explains what it meant for him to achieve the win and reveals his goals for the 2021 season.
What does it mean to have won a race in only your third appearance in the Moto2 World Championship?
“I am very happy to have won again in Portugal. It’s a special circuit for me, where I achieved an important victory in Moto3 last year. Winning like we did last Sunday, in such a hard-fought race, means a lot. The end of the contest was incredible, and we had worked a lot for the triumph.”
What was the first thing you thought when you crossed the finish line?
“I thought: ‘You’ve done it’. Words can’t express my thanks to all the people who have been by my side through the bad times. I remembered the hard work that we have done to get there. There are many people behind this, and they sometimes go unseen. It was an accumulation of feelings that all come out at once.”
What is it about the Algarve International Circuit that suits you so much?
“The circuit is special. I got my first podium at the FIM CEV there, and last year I won with a big lead in Moto3, something that is difficult to do. This season I was not expecting the victory. We worked very well and went one step at a time, as we have been doing since pre-season, and finally the victory came at Portimao. What better track to do it at than this one, which brings back such good memories?”
What has been the key for you adapting so quickly to the class?
“The big thing that has allowed me to adapt quickly to the class has been my crew. The people I have working around me have been important. This is a team with a lot of experience. Also, Aki [Ajo] always gives me little tips that help me better adapt. I have fun, we work very hard and, above all, they give me a lot of peace of mind that, when I’m on the bike, helps me a lot to understand things.”
“I want to enjoy every moment and, above all, have fun every time I get on the bike. That is our goal.”
This is still your first year in Moto2. What goals have you set for this season?
“I want to keep taking things race-by-race. I’m not going to think about other things, as my target is to go step by step with my feet on the ground. I want to enjoy every moment and, above all, have fun every time I get on the bike. That is our goal.”
What is your relationship like with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in this second year with them?
“The team are incredible. I think that they are one of the best structures, if not the best. The relationship with my crew is very good. Although I’m with the Moto2 guys now, I still have a very nice bond with the Moto3 staff. It’s all a family atmosphere. I feel at home, this is my second family and that is something that is important.”
Your teammate, Remy Gardner, is one of the strongest riders in the class. Do you think having him on the other side of the garage will help you?
“He helps me because he is a person I can talk to, and he gives me a lot of advice. Remy [Gardner] is one of the strongest riders and having him by my side has helped me a lot with understanding many things about the bike, be it by studying his lines or looking at his data. He helps me to take small steps forward.”
Do you think you can keep up these good results?
“I hope to keep the results up. Obviously, we have set the bar very high, but we mustn’t forget that things change. At the end of the day, this is my first year in the class and I will find myself in new situations. In difficult moments you have to remain calm and be sure that you will be up there again. If we continue on this path, keep our feet on the ground and continue working calmly and intelligently, everything will come.”