Newsletter, T. Lüthi, Losail, Top news

Fred Corminboeuf: “I prefer to chase rather than be chased..”


The 2017 championship has officially kicked off in the spotlight of the Losail circuit, about twenty kilometres north of Doha (Qatar). Once again CGBM Evolution will be present with two teams in the Moto2 category this year with the reigning vice world champion Thomas Lüthi (carXpert Interwetten) as well as Jesko Raffin from Zurich and Iker Lecuona from Spain (injured during the test in Jerez de la Frontera and replaced by a former 125cc world champion and experienced rider Julian Simón from Spain for the start of the season) in the colours of Garage Plus Interwetten.

A few hours before they start the engines, Fred Corminboeuf, the owner of the squad, explained: “I am confident after the tests that I would describe as correct. I know that a lot of people expected more in terms of results, imagining that Tom would clearly dominate; personally I prefer to chase than to be chased. We are ready for the season that, I’m sure, won’t be just about a battle between our vice world champion Tom Lüthi, Franco Morbidelli from Italy and Takaaki Nakagami from Japan. We have also seen in the last couple of weeks that Alex Marquez has made an important step forward, Baldassari will be strong, despite a complicated winter period due to a painful arm. We also have an excellent “rookie” Fabio Quartararo and have seen that the new KTM with Oliveira and Brad Binder will find its place. In short, the pack will be very competitive. “

Thomas Lüthi had a few crashes in Valencia and Jerez de la Frontera with the new Kalex 2017 and he will use the 2016 model in Qatar: “To better understand the developments we decided to reconstruct the bike from last year on which Tom felt so good; we believe that some of our rivals will use a mixed solution with pieces from both models. We decided to do this because it was important from a psychological point of view,” continued the boss. “From a technical perspective, Kalex modified the shape and the position of the tank, the saddle is also different and puts the rider a bit higher up. This affects the transfer of masses, which results in lack of confidence in the front that many riders experienced. However, we are going to find a solution!”

The good surprise in the last pre-season tests last week was the excellent form of Jesko Raffin, the newcomer of the Swiss team: “It is not a surprise for me. With us Jesko has discovered a new approach to work, he is intelligent, he listens and he has a quite rare capacity in this job to change things in his riding style when it’s proved to be winning. He was very tense when he started but has made a progress during the test in Jerez and even more here in Losail. Jesko is now much more relaxed, he finished each session in the Top-15, which is a great start for this weekend.” 

And regarding Iker Lecuona, who was injured in Jerez two weeks ago? “He sustained a clear fracture of his right collarbone, a double fracture – radius, cubitus – of his left arm and a fracture without displacement of the seventh vertebra. He underwent a successful surgery with Dr Mir in Barcelona and remains strong, sending the team messages, although we can imagine that for him, knowing the championship starts without him, is not nice. The doctors speak about 6-8 weeks of recovery, which means he should be back for Jerez. We will see how it goes. We certainly do not want to rush anything. Also with Julian Simón we have a very experienced replacement rider, a very kind guy and a great help to develop the bike,” concluded Fred Corminboeuf.


He said…

Thomas Lüthi (carXpert Interwetten, 1st): “First of all I would like to say sorry to my guys because I gave them a lot of work again tonight with this crash in corner 2 during the second free practice session. What happened? It was an unfortunate combination of the wind and aggressive braking on the exit of corner 1, I was deported by a strong blow, it was less than one meter but I was off the ideal line to brake this much. I am ok but the bike is seriously damaged. That said, this is racing on two wheels, we are here to push, if I don’t go fast, we don’t make a progress. Everyone knows the rules, we assume them. The day ended with this crash but it was an interesting day and I’m not saying this just because I set the quickest time. We are working like crazy and in a great atmosphere: our team spirit is exceptional and that is why I am sad for my mechanics who are going to have a late night.”