Frustrating but positive season
Well after a great round at the Nurburgring and a very positive meeting with the team’s engine suppliers, Yoshimura, the following week, it was disappointing to be told by Crescent team owner Paul Denning that my services has team manager would no longer be required for 2013. He will now take over my position.
To be honest it didn’t come as a surprise because with no Suzuki MotoGP team contract, I guess it made commercial sense for Crescent to lose me, however, from a professional point of view I’ve left the team in good shape and with a great package to work with and build on for 2013.
This is without doubt the most frustrating season I’ve had in racing, but finally the team got to start servicing and building the engines again and since that point, starting at Silverstone, we’ve been able to run at the sharp end again and compete for podiums. The Motec electronics have also come on in leaps and bounds due to the hard work put in by the crew chiefs and Motec technicians.
At Portimao we were again pushing for podiums with Leon and in race two, he pushed 2012 World Champion Max Biaggi all the way; slogging it out for another podium until a transmission problem caused him to lock up and ‘DNF’ with just one lap to go.
Next was the final round at Magny-Cours, France, I decided to have a road trip to this one and bungled Mrs Val in the car for the ride to Nevers. It gives us both some time to catch up and especially discuss mine and ValMoto’s future.
The French event started on a low with “Hopper” pulling out after FP1 with his hip injury – John has been riding with a worn-out hip, aggravated by his crash at Monza earlier in the year. The following day he announced he was having a year sabbatical to get it fixed and would review his racing career after getting back to full health.
Leon qualified well and was running up front in both the wet and dry but in race one he went down while in position six, like many others did, including race frontrunners at the time Johnny Rea and Max Biaggi.
The team did a great job fixing the bike for race two and the battered and bruised Leon finished a very creditable tenth place despite having an electronics glitch caused from the previous crash.
There’s no rest for a top team and as I write this, I’m in Spain with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki Team for a three-day top teams test at Aragon along with Aprilia, Kawasaki and Ducati (whose new Panigale’s look and sound awesome).
Picking up 2012 Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters (who’s testing with the team) from the airport gave me a free afternoon and evening to explore the wonderful and vibrant city of Barcelona. If you’ve never been to the city, I’d say it’s a must and I’ve promised Mrs Val that I’ll take her there for a long weekend there soon.
That’s it for now and in my next “blog” I’ll update you from the test and hopefully have an idea on my future.
Until next time,