2009 season review
How would you sum up the 2009 season?
It's been a difficult one to describe as it had all the signs of being a fantastic year. We started the year with a brand new bike and the testing and development went really well. The early results with Sylvain were fantastic but at Donington Park it all went wrong. Sylvain was lapping quicker than he had done in MotoGP on the Ducati and was far quicker than Camier in a few sectors. Then came the incident with Josh Brookes and our season was turned upside down.
We were faced with the task of finding replacement riders and although they did well, we had been aiming for podiums with Sylvain and that never really materialised.
Towards the end of the season, the contract was signed to keep Sylvain at Crescent Suzuki for 2010 and everybody seemed very happy. But then the move to the World Superbike Championship was sanctioned.
It's been one of those seasons where we wanted to challenge for the title but for one reason or another we couldn't. That being said, the team hasn't lost motivation and we're looking forward to whatever next season brings!
Did you believe that you could challenge for the title?
Absolutely. Sylvain was absolutely phenomenal early in the season, particularly as he hadn't raced at any of the tracks before. We were really prepared and had carried out a lot of testing so started the championship with all guns blazing and caught the other teams napping.
What was GSE Racing's secret this season?
It was the same as every year. They buy pre-prepared bikes from the manufacturer, follow a maintenance sheet and go racing They have a big budget, buy direct and have the presence to be able to secure some very good riders.
What, if anything, have you learned from this year?
I don't thing I've learned anything in particular this year. I just keep working as hard as possible as I know that it's the first step in achieving your goals.
We had a winning combination this year but we also had more than our fair share of bad luck, for example we lost Sylvain and had to find replacement riders. GSE also had bad luck with mechanical failures, but these happened in free practice and qualifying whereas other teams had mechanical problems in the races.
I don't think we'll change anything next year although obviously we'll have a new rider line-up. Yuki is coming into the team and I'm sure he'll be a big fan favourite. Plus, we'll also have a second rider, although nobody has been confirmed yet. Every other phone call I receive is a rider looking for a seat for 2010 so I don't think we'll struggle!
What are your goals for 2010?
It's far too early to be making predictions for next season, but of course our main target is to win the championship. This is the goal we always start out with. We'll have an extensive winter testing programme in place, visiting similar tracks to last year and will be able to compare the data and evaluate whether we're going to be competitive.