WERE YOU PLEASED WITH YOUR RESULTS THIS SEASON? Overall, the year was good. I had no severe injuries, and in the GP 450 series, I had some strong results along with some not-so-strong results. I did not win the 450 World Championship, but second place is okay. I am happy, but also somewhat disappointed, as I wanted to be the World Champion. It’s hard work, but I need to keep improving. I did my best, and I am in one piece, so that has been very important for me.
DID YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU COULD WIN THE 2013 450 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP? That is very difficult to answer, but I always gave my best. Sometimes you can win a race, but at times things don’t go your way. You can have a small crash, and other things can happen. But, I had a couple strong races near the end of the series and won four over- alls. It’s good, but I wanted to win more races and win the champi- onship. This is very important to me.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO IMPROVE ON FOR NEXT SEASON? Every year I do anything
I can to improve and have more success, but it really comes from the small things you improve. There doesn’t seem to be one main thing that you can work on. In the beginning of the season, I think I could have finished better if I had gotten better starts, but then, with racing in America, I improved my starts. Next year, one thing I will work on is getting better starts. Then I think I can win more races and be in a better position for the championship.
WHY DID YOU RACE IN AMERICA? Rockstar offered to help us there. I was happy to do it, and it offered me the chance to get more practice racing. It was good for me, as I saw some different styles of racing, as well as some different types of training. Overall, it was a very nice experience. I really like the country. The racing format is very different, but I like it more than the GP format. One day races are better, and I wish they would do things the same way in Europe. Having the Saturday and Sunday format in Europe seems to make it so long and drawn out. There is so much time
between racing sessions. It’s just easier to race one day, and also better for the track preparation and all the guys that work on the track.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RACE IN THE U.S. ON A FULL-TIME BASIS? That was a big question for me near the end of this year. After I did the two races in America, I was thinking about racing there full-time. I had some discussions on doing it, but after talking further with my team here, I decided to stay in Europe. However, I am open in the future to racing in the U.S.A. I’m still young and have some racing years in front of me. You never know. It is some time away right now, but I will think about doing a few races in America again in 2014. I’ve been on this team for the past four years and in the Suzuki family for longer. The factory team is very good, and they do a lot for their riders.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE OFF-SEASON? In this off-season I will spend time thinking about how to improve for 2014. I’m a pretty simple guy that just enjoys life and racing. ;
By Jim Kimball