We shot a video of the grand prix riders “working” at the KTM Motorsport headquarters this week after all the staff had been “given time off” to watch the Grand Prix at Spielberg this weekend. The story went that the staff all left and Pit Beirer, the KTM Motorsports director, called up the guys from the KTM teams to come and work in their absence.
It was really cool to visit the headquarters. We got to see where everything is made, the factories. I’ve been there a few times before this year, but it’s always a buzz to go back and see everyone there.
The facility there is crazy. It’s literally a town that is just KTM everywhere. The most incredible people work there. Seeing the people is good and important for us, to have that connection between the team and the factory. We know the people at the factory well because some of them come to the grands prix sometimes. It’s like going back to see your friends.
Being part of the KTM family is wonderful. We have a great relationship. Everyone in the team and the brand get on really well. It’s a pleasure to be around the guys.
We did dome work on pieces of the bike. I am in the video assembling forks, I think. I’m not too bad a mechanic myself. I think I’m a lot better than most riders.
The Austrian GP is extremely important because it is the home grand prix for KTM and Red Bull. I want to get a great result for them. They have taken me to where I am in my career.
Last weekend before the Czech GP I sat at the same table as Valentino Rossi and Marq Marquez. Marq said something to welcome me to MotoGP next year. I didn’t say anything to Rossi, because he’s still my hero and I was a little shy. It’s awesome. It’s not the first time I’ve been at the press conference next to guys like that, but you can’t help but feel a little starstruck because those are the guys that are the best in the world.
Marq Marquez rode for Ajo and won a world championship with the team in 2010, so this is the best place to build a career. Before I came to Ajo Motorsport, I really hadn’t accomplished anything. Aki (Ajo) and the team have taught me so much. This is my fifth year with the team, and I’ve been privileged to be part of the furniture here now. It’s going to be really hard to leave here next year.
We call the boss Aki and not Ajo. I don’t think he would like if we called him Mr Ajo. One of the most important things In have learnt from him is that instead of focussing on the results, you focus on the work. Once you get the work right, everything else falls into place. When the MotoGP ride came about, Aki told me it was a great opportunity and that I should enjoy it.
I’m looking forward to racing at the Red Bull Ring this weekend. We learnt some things from the new bike at Brno, and we will be working on using that data for the Austrian GP. The track is awesome and is in the most beautiful area. It’s like a natural arena with forests all around it. It’s a huge weekend for KTM and Red Bull.