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Baja Spain Aragon 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Baja Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Baja Spain Aragon 2007, 2nd round of the FIA Worldcup for International Bajas. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Baja Spain: Roma - the value of a victory is seen from the quality of the rivals.

Interview with Mitsubishi-Repsol Teammember Nani Roma before the start of the Baja Spain Aragon 2007. MR: Two years ago you were the first rider to win the Baja in both a car and on a bike. Do you think you have a good chance of getting another victory this year?

Nani Roma: "Obviously that is what I am going to try and do. It is not easy, because there will be tough rivals such as my team mate Stéphane Peterhansel, Colin McRae and Marc Blázquez, that is to say, drivers with a high level. But it is a race race that I know well; I won it many times on a bike and also in a car once. I am going to go out to win in my car, for sure."

MR: What do you remember about this date?

Nani Roma: "For me it is an important race. In fact, it has been very important in my sporting career, because thanks to my win in 1995, my first participation with the Lucky Strike team, they rewarded me with my first Dakar in 1996. Therefore it is a race that brings me good memories and so thanks to this Baja I was able to race in the Dakar for the first time and to carry on participating in it down the years."

MR: Can you tell us whether the new car has evolved much compared to the one you took to the Dakar last year?

Nani Roma: "Things have changed. We are evolving things like the suspension and we have been trying the latest solutions that the engineers gave us in Morocco over the last few weeks. On the other hand we have been testing the new regulations concerning the intake manifold and gear change, since in the Dakar 2008 it is obligatory to have a five speed box and the intake in 1mm smaller in diameter. Therefore we have lost a little power and nobody likes to lose power, but rules are rules and this is what there is."

MR: Will your team mate Stéphane Peterhansel be one of your main rivals?

Nani Roma: "Yes, of course. I get along well with Stéphane, we are friends but in a race we try to beat each other, it is part of the competition. He is a rival with experience, he has been racing in cars for many years and he will not make things easy for me. On top of that he has the same car and the same material, so we will have to see who is the fastest. It is going to be difficult, but we cannot forget about Colin McRae and his BMW, or Marc Blázquez either. But this I think this is what makes racing fun. In fact, for me the value of a victory or a classification is seen from the quality of the rivals. The more top quality rivals there are the better, there is more motivation and the more fun it is to race."

MR: What is the most important to be in with a chance of winning a race like the Baja Aragón?

Nani Roma: "A race like the Baja is a race, a sprint, although perhaps for only 10 kilometres, but you have to go flat out all day. So it is a case of going your fastest from the first kilometre. Sometimes it is not easy to find your attacking pace in the morning and go flat out all day. It is a race that I like, because you also have the public watching and we are not used to having people watching us. It is fun when you race with the public and it motivates you much more."

MR: Is it good training for the Dakar?

Nani Roma: "Any driving and doing miles is good training. Obviously it is a very different race to the Dakar, because it has arrows to show the way and you cannot get lost. Sometimes things happen but not normally, but it is very different. When you can go flat out and cover miles is good training for the Dakar and any other race."

MR: How are you developing your pre-season and the preparation for the next edition of the Dakar 2008?

Nani Roma: "Well, Mitsubishi is a team that always works hard, with a group of engineers that work looking to the future and future seasons. We have now advanced to a good level of suspension and I think we have improved. Where we have taken a step backwards is with the matter of regulations, because they penalise us a little, although our rivals also have the same rules. It is true that our cars are penalised a little more because they are not diesel. But this is what there is, these are the rules and for the time being things are going very well."

MR: What is your opinion of the new diesel car made by Mitsubishi that is being developed for the Dakar?

Nani Roma: "I think this is an important matter at all levels. At the level of regulations, diesel engines are allowed different things from petrol engines, something that in principle favours them. Then, at the environmental level it is also very interesting because all the manufacturing companies are developing diesel engines, and our main sponsor, Repsol, is also working on biodiesel fuels. I think that it is very important for the environment, the fact that the big manufacturers of racing cars are thinking about this type of solution. It will be interesting to develop the car, race with a biodiesel unit, which Repsol is also developing. I think that it is a project that will be very good for us concerning the future."

MR: The objective for the Baja is none other than to win is it not?

Nani Roma: "Obviously yes, the objective is to win, or as I always say fight to win. A few months ago in Portugal we were fighting to win with Carlos Sainz during the whole race. I think that we drove very well but in the end, even though he won, I was satisfied. Of course I would have liked to have won, but the important thing in a race is to fight and do your best, give all you can and be near the leader so that you have a chance of winning. Then there are moments when you can win and at other times you cannot, but obviously the objective before the Baja is wo win it."

2007/07/19 | 11:06 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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