As a member of the Kiefer Racing team Germany’s motorcycling rider Toni Finsterbusch competed in the Moto3 World Championship. In the following interview the 20-year-old from Krostitz near Lepzig takes stock of the past season. Finsterbusch plans a new start in the renowned Spanish CEV Championship.
The World Championship season concluded in Valencia. Unfortunately, you did not finish in the points as expected in Spain. What are your conclusions with regard to the 2013 season?
Toni Finsterbusch: “It was a difficult season for all of us. Somehow it felt like a roller coaster drive with ups and some downs. We’ve set ourselves some goals before going into the new season, but we failed to achieve them. Basically, the team worked well together and we were in a good mood – but we all made mistakes. If it worked out in the qualifying, then we had problems in the race. And vice versa, after a bad qualifying, we often showed a good performance during the competition. Personally, I’ve gathered a lot of experience this year and I’ve learned a lot.”
During the 17 World Championship races you travelled around the world. Where did it work out for you and what do you remember most?
Toni Finsterbusch: “I was quite successful in Assen (Netherlands) when I repeatedly posted Top 10 lap-times in the rain-hit qualifying. Additionally, I got along well on the tracks in Misano (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain). And I have good memories of the race in Australia – I really felt good and at ease there. But the most exciting race weekend this year was the one in Japan: In Motegi we were threatened with a cancellation due to an earthquake, fog and numerous typhoon warnings. This is why we were forced to start right into the qualifying without any training sessions. It was a rather particular situation.”
After the season is ahead of the next season. What are your plans for next year?
Toni Finsterbusch: “We’re already working at full speed on the plans for 2014. I will not compete in the World Championship and will not start in the Moto3 either. At the moment, it looks as if I’m going to start in the Moto2 class of the Spanish CEV Championship. Negotiations are under way and things are looking good. We are confident to announce a result quite soon.”
A switch from the World Championship to the CEV – is this a step backwards?
Toni Finsterbusch: “Obviously, the World Championship is in the focus. But many top drivers, such as Luis Salom, Marc Márquez, Jorge Lorenzo or Dani Pedrosa, come from the Spanish Championship. The level is very high and it won’t be easy. Well, one could say that I take a step backwards to better leap over the next hurdle.”
The Spanish Championship enjoys a very good reputation. The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) intends to transform the CEV step by step into a European Championship. What is the current state of affairs?
Toni Finsterbusch: “Next season, in a first step, the series will be expanded. Apart from the six events in Spain there will be another two in France and Portugal on the race calendar. As of 2014, further races in Europe are planned and the series is set to be granted the status of a European Championship. Possibly, there will also be races in Germany.”
What are your immediate plans for the winter and what are your objectives for next year?
Toni Finsterbusch: “Right now I’m fully focused on fitness training and I’m trying to prepare myself as best as I can for the upcoming challenges. As of February, there are probably first test runs with the new team. Well, I know most of the circuits from the World Championship. In 2014 I hope to show convincing performances and to claim top spots. Everything else will fall into place.”