Less than a month and a half before the beginning of the season, we are talking about the first Dakar of Johnny AUBERT, about the coming season and about the evolution of the World Enduro since his arrival in the paddocks.
Johnny AUBERT, give us you impressions about your first Dakar?
Johnny AUBERT: “This first Dakar was a fabulous experience and the discovering a new discipline but also an unbelievable human adventure. A lot of emotions were mixed all along those 15 race days, with a goal for everybody, before the good results, to arrive in Lima. I could realize that to mix navigation and riding is difficult, that the experience is the success key and that you don’t have only to know how to ride a bike. I wanted, all along the race, to learn. I rarely relied to the traces of the leading men, and I tried to follow my roadbook as precisely as possible. Sometimes it putted me in difficulty but at the end I know that it helps me a lot for the next times.”
How do you feel now?
J.A: “I’m in good fit! When I came back, I went to the mountain to recharge my batteries. Ski, relaxation, family. It was perfect to gather strength and to start off again with the Enduro tests. The 2012 Dakar was not my priority. I trained for the Enduro and I raced the rally with my 2012 season in the crosshairs. I had the chance to not feel a real tiredness post-Dakar.”
Do you think that you’ll be ready for the South American tour, Chile – Argentina?
J.A: “I’ll be without a doubt! Physically I’m already ready. We are now working on my 450 EXC-F. I made a race in England organized by Jonty EDMUNDS this weekend, which permitted me to confirm that I have a good feeling with my bike. The next preparation meeting will be certainly the opening of the Italian championship during the first weekend of March.”
You had two difficult seasons, what are your goals for this new year?
J.A: “2010 and 2011 were difficult. Inner ear problem and then big crash. However, I didn’t lose my confidence in my riding style. My 2012 goals will be of course to do the maximum to win another world title.”
After difficult times on the 350 EXC-F, you’re back on the 450 EXC-F with which you became World Champion. Give us your impressions?
J.A: “First of all, it is important to confirm that the 350 is an excellent bike. I loved to ride with even if my riding style is pushing me to ride with bigger one. I’m definitely easier on the 450 EXC-F. Between my 450cc and me it is a true love story: even if we left each other for a while, as soon as we meet again, we were very good together! Stop joking, I have an excellent feeling with the bike and I have a lot of pleasure to ride with.”
What do you thinking about your main rivals in Enduro 2?
J.A: “They are coriaceous and the places for the podium will be thought. I will meet again Juha SALMINEN, and I know that he will not give any seconds just like Ivan (CERVANTES)! But don’t forget Pela RENET and Cristobal GUERRERO who are the prospects of the Enduro. In my opinion, it will be a year rich in pressure and suspense!”
Next season you will not be the only French in KTM with the arrival of Antoine MEO and Christophe NAMBOTIN. What are your relationships with your two compatriots and new teammates?
J.A: “Our relationship is excellent like it was before their arrival in KTM. I always had good relations with Christophe. Even if there were rumors that Antoine and I had difficult relation, it’s wrong. We were rivals during the races, but it has never influence on our human relation! I’m happy to have them next to me this season! The team Farioli will have to speak French now!"
About the new calendar, what do you think about the South American tour?
J.A: “I’m happy to come back to South America, people are motorbike and Enduro fans, they are really friendly and the motorsport needs to be known on the South American continent so if us, riders, can contribute to this development, it is great. The main problem is concerning the private team and the important cost to go there. It will be difficult for some of them to participate to the entire championship because of it and it’s a pity. I hope that solution can be found to decrease the cost and to permit to everybody to make of this tour a real success.”
You’re on the EWC for 6 seasons now, what do you think about its evolution?
J.A: “There were a lot of changes! The World Enduro is now a creditable discipline that attracts riders from every horizon. Great things have been done even if sometimes I didn’t believe in it. I have to say that I’m still not a fan of the Super Test. Moreover, I don’t think that it’s a good idea to erase pre-riders. It was a good way to analyze what was possible or not and to have the possibilities to make some changes when the track was infeasible or too dangerous.”
For a long time now, you’re saying that this season will be your last on the MAXXIS FIM Enduro World Championship, is it really “the last one”?
J.A: “I can’t deny that I’m looking for a rally career. I don’t know yet about what will 2013 be made. I don’t want to thinking about it for instance. My priority is the 2012 EWC and to do my best to give the best results to KTM and to all my sponsors. Result in few months…”