After two brilliant rounds of the Italian Enduro Championship, and with only one week to go before the Grand Prix AMV Seguros of Spain, which takes place in Puerto Lumbreras the 10th, 11th and 12th of May, the surprising E2 class leader, Alex SALVINI (I – HM Honda), took some time to answer to our questions…
Alex SALVINI, you’re well known in Italy but introduce yourself to all the Enduro fans that followed your latest exploits…
Alex SALVINI: “Hi, my name is Alex – not Alexandre as they used to write it in South America – I’m 27 years old and I live on the hills of Bologna, in the north of Italy! I was Motocross rider but at the same time I had raced at the 2007/09/10 ISDE. In 2011 I decided to switch full time in Enduro, and now I’m really happy about my decision…”
Congratulation on your brilliant start of season! Three wins and a third place… Hard to have hoped for more?
A.S: “Thank you! Yes, we achieved more than what we expected. I was confident about my speed, but you never know how fast the other riders will be, especially champions like RENET, CERVANTES, AUBERT and KNIGHT!”
Can you put your finger on exactly what it was that enabled you to take those three wins?
A.S: “After the first day in Chile, where I made many mistakes, I settled down in the rest of the days and I rode really well. I was pretty fast in all the tests and I think that my speed made a big difference!
It seems you’re not worried about competing against riders as AUBERT, KNIGHT, RENET, and CERVANTES…
A.S: “No. I respect those guys very much because they are big champions, and really good persons, but during the race I don’t care who they are or what are their names. All of us are out there for the same thing, and I just try to do my best, doesn’t matter who my rivals are.”
How do you explain your impressive start?
A.S: “I feel good, last year I suffered a couple of injuries on my knee and my back! In December I went in for surgery on my knee, after that, I was able to train hard. Also with the team we did a really hard work on the bike, with many tests to make my HM Honda comfortable for me and my riding style!”
“It’s very exciting to see all those fans behind me!”
Did you change something in your offseason preparation?
A.S: “No nothing special. Like I said before, I fixed my knee and after I trained as much as possible in the gym and on my bike!”
With these three wins you carry the torch of Italian Enduro and give big hopes to the fans, isn’t it more pressure for you?
A.S: “Yes it is true! When I went back home from South America, I saw a lot of interest from all the medias and fans, but honestly it is not so heavy to bear, rather, it is nice and exciting. Also at the first two rounds of the Italian championship, the crowd was really great with me.”
SALVINI had a very tough training during the offseason with his friends Generally, everybody needs some time to adapt to a new bike and a new team… it doesn’t seem to be the case with HM Honda…
A.S: “It doesn’t seem, but it’s not completely like this! In the beginning of January I had jumped for my first time on the HM-Honda after a knee surgery. The first couple of days were not so easy because, even if the bike is so good, it was still pretty much different from my old 310 Husky. And also my physical condition wasn’t the best. With the team we had to work so much on the set-up of the bike and after a couple of months I felt really comfortable on my bike!”
Why did you choose to leave the CH Racing team that brought you into Enduro, to join the Jolly Racing team?
A.S: “I decided to leave the CH Racing team to Jolly Racing, because I wanted to ride on the 450cc bike, and Husqvarna doesn’t have a competitive 450 to fight for the championship! The Jolly Racing Team was already interested about me during my first year (2011) but at that time I decided to stay with Husqvarna for 2012. In the middle of the last year, they contact me again for this year, we talked about this and at the end I decided to switch to HM Honda!
How would you describe the two team managers you’ve raced for in enduro?
A.S: “Fabu (AZZALIN) is a really good man, crazy sometimes but determined on his job. We are really good friends and the last two years I spent with his Team have been awesome, and for that I want to say big thanks to all of them! Concerning Franco MAYR, I haven’t spent a lot of time with him yet, but I can say that he is 100% focused on the race day, he wants the result like the rider wants and he is incredibly determined to get this result!”
“It’s too early to think about the title!”
Do you have any regrets about leaving motocross two years ago for life in the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship?
A.S: “Maybe the only regret I have is when I failed to win the World Championship in 2009/10! For the rest, nothing, I feel so good in Enduro, and I really enjoy myself when I ride between the trees!”
Where do you think you have to improve to be a complete rider?
A.S: “There is always something to learn or improve! I will always work at 360 degrees, not only in one way.”
With this BIG start to your season your goal of winning the E2 title looks to be a real possibility, do you already feel some pressure?
A.S: “For the moment no! I mean, it’s too early to think about the championship, we did just 2 of the 7 rounds and everything can happen. I just want to try to have fun when I race and try to stay as much as possible focused on my job, that’s it.”
You will face again your 4 rivals in Spain in few weeks. The surprising effect won’t work anymore and they will expect you. Will it change something in your approach to the race?
A.S: “Yes, soon will be the Grand Prix of Spain. CERVANTES for sure will be on fire on his home soil, but also AUBERT, RENETand KNIGHT are very tough, all of those guys are already World Champions. I just want to try to do my best to beat them, and then we will see what will happen at the end!”
Name: Alex SALVINI
Date of Birth: 05/09/1985
Place of Birth: Bologna (Italia)
Bike: HM Honda 450cc (E2 class)
– 2000 : 3rd of the Italian Championship Cadet MX ;
– 2002: Italian Junior Champion 125cc ;
– 2004 : Supercross European Champion 125cc, MX European Vice-Champion 125cc;
– 2005 : Assoluti d’Italia Champion Open class, European Vice-Champion of Nations ;
– 2006 : European Champion of Nations ;
– 2007 : ISDE Champion, 3rd E1 of the ISDE ;
– 2008 :Assoluti d’Italia Vice-Champion Open class, Best Italian of the MX of Nations ;
– 2009 : MX3 World Vice-Champion, ISDE Vice-Champion ;
– 2010 : MX 3 World Vice-Champion, ISDE Vice-Champion, 3rd E1 of the ISDE ;
– 2011 : 7th of the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship E3 class ;
– 2012 : 7th of the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship E2 class, Italian E2 Champion;