You don’t meet a MotoGP racer in person every day! So, when we stumbled upon Reale Avintia Racing’s Karel Abraham at Ducati India’s DRE Royal Rajasthan Tour, we couldn’t forgo the opportunity to pick his brains on MotoGP and other related stuff.
They say that motorcycle racers are a fearless breed, and we think that after having ridden a motorcycle on Indian roads for a whole day, you’ve just proved it!
You know, it’s actually not that dangerous or shocking to ride here. I usually go on vacation in South East Asian countries, and the roads and traffic, in general, are more or less similar to what you’ve here. So, in a way, I am used to it now. I enjoyed my time riding a motorcycle here. Although, I must say that there’re a lot of cows on Indian roads.
You’ve signed with Reale Avintia for 2019-20, and in the forthcoming season you’ll ride the Ducati GP18 motorcycle – essentially the factory Ducati bike from last year. Given its performance and results, do you share the belief of others that it’s the best motorcycle on the grid?
It’s all relative, you know. All bikes have some advantages and disadvantages over others. And it’s also true for Ducati. But yes, I’d say that Ducati is today one of the best motorcycles on the grid and a real championship contender. In the last few years, Ducati has really improved a lot, especially under the technical supervision of Gigi Dall’Igna. Given their consistently good results and race wins, especially in 2018. I’m really looking forward to riding the GP18.
Apart from racing motorcycles, what motorcycles do you own?
I have a Ducati V4 S and a KTM 1190 Adventure R.
Since you mention the V4 S, tell us how different riding a production superbike is from riding a MotoGP prototype?
Well, it’s really difficult to answer. Still, I’d say that a bike like the Panigale V4 S is really, really close to a MotoGP bike in terms of performance. The difference in speed and acceleration isn’t that much now. And what impresses me the most about the V4 S is that it’s extremely balanced and easy to ride. I still remember the moment I took my bike out on a racetrack. Before I knew it, my elbow was down on the track. It’s really that good. Having said that, MotoGP bikes feel very different to ride, especially because of tyres and more complex set of electronics. Also, the chassis of a race bike is rigid and less forgiving when you make a mistake. In simple terms, I’d say that the difference between the two is quite evident during corner exits, where a production bike feels more forgiving when you open the throttle, while a GP machine can really bite you back and throw you off the saddle if your inputs aren’t precise.
What’s your prediction for the upcoming MotoGP season?
Marc Marquez is, of course, the man to beat, but I am confident that Ducati – with a new set of upgrades – and Andrea Dovizioso will make a strong come back. Danillo Petrucci is going to be the one to watch out for as well. Jorge Lorenzo is definitely going to win races. I mean, of course, Marquez has more experience with the Honda, but once Lorenzo gets the hang of the motorcycle, it’ll be a really great battle. Maverick Vinales and Yamaha are looking confident too. Also, you can’t rule out Valentino Rossi. Overall, it’d be another great season of racing for every one of us!