Sebastien Charpentier: I’m not definitely closing the door to Superbike…
Met on the sidelines of the Cologne Motor Show which will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, the double Supersport world champion Sebastien Charpentier gave an interview to Moto-Net: an update on his season and his future after his double coronation…
In addition to our video interview (read), our special correspondent in Cologne for the Intermot Show had the pleasure of taking the train with Sebastien Charpentier, the day after his second Supersport World Championship title … Interview.
Site: Sebastien, how did you find out about Curtain’s abandonment during the race and how do we deal with this type of information ?
Sebastien charpentier : I was marked "11 OUT". At first, you almost believe in a joke! But in fact, Kevin had been struggling since the start of the weekend and that wasn’t normal. From the first session, he was given a good blow to the head and he did not get over it! So when I knew he was out of the race, I managed as best I could: set up fast times, as I had done since Friday. I was aiming for my first victory at Magny-Cours and it was incredible to get my second title there! It was not all easy, however: I had Kevin’s wife in tears in my arms … Our children are playing together and there is a lot of respect between us. The race was very long, not just for me! With the team, we had difficult times this year … But I’m happy to be in a team of Batavians: they are real warriors! With them, let’s say you sign a 1 ‘41.8 in the morning and they tell you that with a 1’ 40.7 in the afternoon it will be "Big Respect" !
MNC: For the second year in a row, you won the Mondial Supersport while your fall during the private tests almost deprived you of it … Will you attack less during these tests from now on? ?
S. C. : Of course not ! If you start to think about this stuff then you better stay home! Okay, you can think about it, but … It’s like, for example, I hate flying! Well I take it upon myself and I go! Testing is important to progress, to improve the bike and the tires. We also do a lot of race simulations so I will continue to give my all !
MNC: You will find Ten Kate next year in Supersport: why stay in 600 and not take the step of Superbike ?
S. C. : Because I really enjoy myself at Ten Kate in Supersport! In August, when I was injured, my contract was already on the table and that’s really great. I have had proposals from Yamaha, Suzuki or Kawasaki, but I stay with Honda! And then I’m not closing the door to the Superbike for good … In my head, I consider that I am 20 years old, but with much more experience! And when I see that at 40, Curtain is still on top, I tell myself that I still have time…
MNC: Curtain was clearly your No.1 enemy. Who do you fear most for next season ?
S. C. : It’s too early to know exactly, but I already know that the level will be very high…
MNC: Did you expect to see Kenan Sofuoglu, your teammate at Ten Kate, progress so quickly and take the podiums at the end of the season? ?
S. C. : Actually, Kenan has improved a lot by the time I got injured. This is normal, and I learned a lot at that time. But the week after my fall, I was shooting on Magny-Cours and I blasted the lap times !
MNC: What is your program for the days and weeks to come? ?
S. C. : There, I am with Honda for the opening of the Cologne Motor Show and I have to see Shoei tomorrow morning for my Replica: on a chrome base, it should be too good! Otherwise I will be invited to Moto Reviews on Eurosport and I have to see too The team and RMC. In three weeks, after the GP of Valencia, Honda invites me to ride on the RCV and on November 15, 16 and 17, I will test the CBR 2007. From 23 to 30, I will be at the "Road Atlanta" circuit, then will arrive tests in Qatar in December, then in Australia in January !
MNC: What are the differences between the stock CBR600RR "general public" and your CBR Ten Kate ?
S. C. : Basically, the engine is more powerful and better filled everywhere. The suspensions are firmer and the discs and pads are special. In fact, they are not comparable in terms of handling and performance. But there are direct consequences of our competition motorcycles on those of series production. The maximum performance of the engine, but also its pleasure and reliability. Lots of things in fact: braking systems are evolving a lot, we are also working on the position and ergonomics…
MNC: Many Moto-Net readers, some of whom were on site at Magny-Cours, have supported you this year via their comments. Would you like to send them a message ?
S. C. : I really thank them for this great support! It was very touching for me, very strong! With five laps to go, everyone was excited! In Adelaide, the stand opposite, the one next to it, it was … Wow! I wanted to win the race in front of them, after my absence last year, so winning a second title was great. !
Interview by Matthieu BRETILLE
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