MotoGP Information – Interview – Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha): EXCLUSIVE


An unique interview with Movistar Yamaha’s Wilco Zeelenberg.

The Dutchman, a former 250GP winner and title-winning WSS crew supervisor for Cal Crutchlow, labored with triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo from 2010-2016.

Zeelenberg is now Rider Efficiency Analyst for the crew’s new-signing Maverick Vinales, who has received three races up to now this season…

Crash.internet
Wilco, you labored with Jorge Lorenzo for a few years. What’s Maverick prefer to work with, as an individual?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
Maverick is a really skilled and motivated man. If I’ve to check him on motivation, he is without doubt one of the guys who has the best focus – similar as Jorge mainly – as a result of when the visor is closed he can focus very effectively.

Maverick has a mission: He needs to be world champion. That is very clear and for me there isn’t a doubt he’ll develop into world champion. It is simply when. That is the query. However he might be a key particular person for the approaching years in MotoGP.

His perspective could be very mature. We ask him, ‘be right here at the moment’ and he’s. He listens very effectively and could be very desperate to study, to step up. As a result of we’ve plenty of expertise with this bike. Other than some examples this 12 months – in scorching, low-grip situations – we’ve been in a position to enhance the bike step-by-step in observe which provides him confidence.

To be world champion you can not battle for too many weekends with a motorbike that’s not in a position to win.

Crash.internet
Is there a selected space the place Maverick is actually robust, when using the bike?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
If I evaluate him with Jorge, Jorge could be very clean, calm and delicate on the entrance, mainly. And Maverick is extra aggressive for the entrance tyre, however particularly for the Michelin, he makes it work a little bit bit higher. He stops the bike very effectively and due to that he’s in a position to brake a bit later and deeper into the corners. And he’s utilizing his physique place extra to the entrance of the bike than Jorge.

Jorge, as quickly as he braked, would return [on the bike] to make this excessive corner-speed. Maverick needs to make the bike flip quicker and being extra on the entrance he turns higher and exits earlier. And he controls the rear brake very effectively, each left and proper corners.

So it makes our base set-up a bit completely different to Jorge. With Jorge we struggled typically to make the bike right on stopping as a result of we couldn’t do the identical issues with the set-up that we are able to do now with Maverick. As a result of Jorge did not brake so exhausting and late. So spring-wise and set-up sensible we are able to do various things with Maverick, which could be very attention-grabbing.

Many instances we struggled with Jorge in braking, however with Maverick the bike is braking effectively and late. That is attention-grabbing for us to see and solves plenty of small points that we had with Jorge within the final couple of years. It’s primarily based on his using model.

Crash.internet
Is Maverick’s model much like Rossi?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
No, he additionally rides completely different to Vale. He’s robust, so he makes use of plenty of physique pressure to vary the bike course. However another way to Vale. Vale is tall and skinny. So the physique sizes are completely different. They complain about various things concerning the bike, due to the using model mainly.

Maverick is powerful and really match. Even within the final 5 laps he all the time has vitality. I see that additionally throughout the entire weekend on the whole, he all the time wakes up early. He simply has plenty of vitality. Not solely due to coaching, but in addition perhaps his DNA.

Crash.internet
This season appears much more unpredictable than final season…

Wilco Zeelenberg:
It is vitally unpredictable. Dovi profitable two races in a row is type of unusual as a result of he is been ten years on this championship and to beat Marc, Vale, Jorge and Maverick will not be straightforward. However he did it twice in a row and did it simply in Barcelona. So let’s examine the way it develops.

If we battle an excessive amount of we might want to combat again and that is what we try to do [with the brand new Yamaha chassis]. You’ll want to react to the issues you might have. Within the winter you’ll be able to put together your bike however solely on a few tracks, once you realise you might have an issue it is all the time on a monitor the place you could not take a look at.

So it’s important to react, however not overreact since you do not need to lose your robust factors. We have received three races already. This isn’t dangerous. Anyway, it is a bizarre championship!

Crash.internet
What would you say are the robust factors of the Yamaha this 12 months?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
What we have tried to enhance in contrast with final 12 months is the rear grip on the finish of the race. It’s higher however there must be grip from the monitor, if you recognize what I imply? Additionally Michelin must deliver tyres with the appropriate ‘window’, as a result of they’re very slender when it comes to temperature. If it is a little bit bit too scorching or a little bit bit too chilly…

Crash.internet
Does the slender window imply there are typically ‘gaps’ between the compound selections?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
Probably not. The exhausting tyres are exhausting, however they only start to spin early they usually by no means cease spinning. In order that they final, however… no grip.

Crash.internet
How can the riders adapt to that?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
They struggle, however as Maverick mentioned in Barcelona, ‘Throughout the race I attempted all the pieces: Not leaning. Choosing up early. Not choosing up,’ to attempt to enhance the lap time. But when as quickly as you contact the throttle the rear begins to spin, it is troublesome to keep away from. That is the primary difficulty I might say.

Crash.internet
Talking of adapting, how do you suppose Jorge is getting on at Ducati?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
It was not that straightforward for him. His excessive ability is nook velocity, mainly, braking early… The Ducati would not flip so effectively, however they produce other robust factors, in any other case you do not win two races in a row. I feel Ducati wants to come back a little bit bit nearer to Jorge and Jorge wants to come back a little bit bit nearer to Ducati. He must discover ways to brake tougher and deeper and have rather less nook velocity. However that is additionally one among his excessive expertise and no-one is ready to do what he can, if all the pieces is there.

Crash.internet
Are you able to see Jorge and the Ducati beginning to change?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
Yeah, particularly electronic-wise they’re bettering. As a result of there’s much less motion. But additionally Jorge would not make the bike transfer, that is one other of his strengths; he’s so clean with the throttle. Nevertheless it’s not straightforward to foretell, particularly with the tyres. He went for the exhausting tyre in Barcelona and usually he by no means does that and eventually it labored fairly effectively. Despite the fact that Dovi received with the medium, Jorge got here again and was just a bit too late in any other case he would have been on the rostrum once more.

Crash.internet
Lastly, on tyres, Marquez has mentioned he thinks the uneven entrance causes issues for him below braking?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
It is attainable. We had the identical with the Bridgestone. As quickly as you go onto [the joint between] the 2 completely different compounds, the tyre must ‘determine’ which compound to make use of. In the event you cross over from one compound to a different with out braking, it isn’t an enormous difficulty. However in the event you brake as you flip, it’s important to go over the joint between the completely different compounds sooner or later. The joint will not be straight in the course of the tyre, it’s barely to the left or proper. They’re making an attempt to enhance this transition.

Crash.internet
Thanks Wilco.

Wilco Zeelenberg:
No downside.

By Peter McLaren

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MotoGP Information – Interview – Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha): EXCLUSIVE

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