“I am 100% motivated”
After retiring at the end of the 2006 season, with 17 race victories, 61 podiums and a total of ten pole positions, WSB legend Pierfrancesco Chili has taken on a new role, that of team manager for the Guandalini team.
He will be in charge of
riders Jakub Smrz and Brendan Roberts. We asked him how was coping with his new working life.
How are you finding your new role as sporting director for the Guandalini team?
"I am still at the beginning but I am 100% motivated by my new job. It is, however, work that is very complicated because in a small team you do not just think about the technical and sporting aspects but also you have to be involved in the budget as well. That side of the activity is so much more important this year, because of the economic crisis and that has forced us to keep a tight hold on all our expenses. But the whole team is very motivated and we can't wait for the beginning of the championship.”
What will be the objectives of your two riders?
"With regard to Smrz, after a very good year in 2008 we want to put in place conditions that let him make an even bigger jump in quality. The objective is to see him improve even more. To Roberts, we must allow him time to find his confidence in this category first of all; after that we are convinced that he has the quality to take some satisfying results away from his debut season in SBK."
Who are the favourites for the title in 2009?
“The two factory Ducati riders, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, Carlos Checa on the Honda, Ben Spies with the Yamaha and Max Neukirchner with the Suzuki. It will be a very balanced championship, without Bayliss in the mix. And there may also be some surprises, from Ryuichi Kiyonari, Jonathan Rea and Shane Byrne."
What about Aprilia and BMW?
"I do not believe that in their first season they will be able to fight for the title, but surely in the second part of championship will be more competitive.
At the last test the BMW, in the hands of Troy Corser, improved a lot while Aprilia showed that they still have some problems. But the RSV4 is already strong and in some races we will see it fight for the podiums."