Rui Goncalves - The Dark Horse of MX1!!!
Interview Tuesday 18th January 2010 By Geoff Meyer
We gave Rui a call as he made the long trip from Portugal to Italy to meet up with the Red Bull De Carli KTM team.
Q: Rui, hey, how have you been?
Goncalves: I spent Christmas and New Year with my family and friends. It was nice, but we did a lot of work on the 350cc before December, so it was busy.
Q: How do you like the 350, have you ridden it much?
Goncalves: I actually raced the 350cc at a Belgian and German Championship race last year, but nobody knew it, it was a secret, it’s hard to tell the different from the 350cc and the 450cc bike, so I don’t know if anyone noticed. I like it, I mean it's like a mix of the 450cc and the 250cc. Obviously KTM always have good strong motors and it won't be a problem I don't think. It handles really well, and has a good power, we will see in Mantova how it goes.
Q: How about riding with Antonio, have you guys enjoyed much time together?
Goncalves: I had been training with Antonio in Italy, he wasn't riding much, but he showed me where all the tracks are and we got on great. I can't answer for Antonio, I know him from the GP, but I have spent time with him and he has been really nice to me. We were together for 4 days and did some things, we are team-mates now, and he is a nice guy. I am happy and also when we go riding together it will be good riding with him. I can learn from him and he has amazing speed and it's going to be good.
Q: What are your short term goals?
Goncalves: My first goal is to feel really good on this bike, and the time is coming when I get the good feeling on the bike and feeling like one piece together with the bike, I know I am going to be fast, it is a new education to the new class and new bike, but my first goal is to feel good on the bike and be on the gate. It's a long time before the first Grand Prix, so we have a lot of work to do. I have no idea how I will be in this class, but I will give it 100% to be at the front in this class.
Q: Last year you had to deal with a lot of pressure and strange problems. Did you learn from that, was it a positive experience or negative?
Goncalves: I couldn't have a better example than that, people who were not in my position saw things happening, but I was there in the middle. It was something I learnt a lot from, not only that, but the whole championship. I was always fighting to get to the front. Problems with crashed and bad luck, but this is racing and I felt the bad luck and I fought it and won races again, but mentally and physically it was tough. It can bother me if I let it worry me, or it can bring me to a new level.
Q: It was really a strange championship, you proved a lot.
Goncalves: Sure, I think for sure with Marvin getting in the team I had a down period, but I won races and fought until the end, but those first three races I was now where, I was way back in the points. I was almost 100 points behind, but I never lost he believe. I always believed I could win races. I had a little more luck, but Faenza I had zero points, I took a big crash on Saturday in Faenza and I knocked myself out. But then I got to Valkenswaard and I turned it around. I lost my championship in those first rounds for sure.