Itw Ruben Fernandez: the Spaniard discovers himself at Honda HRC

Now an official Honda HRC rider, Ruben Fernandez will trip alongside the reigning world champion subsequent 12 months with Tim Gajser. At 23, the Spaniard is already exhibiting his ambitions for subsequent season. We discover him on this lengthy interview to get to know him higher and take inventory of the scenario.

Ruben, how did you get into motocross?

“I bought into motocross due to my dad. It is a household affair, as a result of he was a pilot and never dangerous in his time since he was among the best Spaniards. He additionally drove in Portugal and Argentina. On the time, it was not so normal to go away his nation to trip, however together with his degree, he was in a position to do it. My brothers and I used to look at it on the races. Someday we have been in a position to attempt to we cherished it. My father purchased us every a bike. On the regional championship, there have been 4 of us racing, my father, my brothers and me, it was enjoyable occasions. »

What’s your favourite observe?

“I’d say Agueda in Portugal, Matterley Basin in England and Kegums in Latvia. I believe Agueda stays primary as a result of it is close to my home and so lots of followers come. I just like the structure and the floor. I admire Portugal for its tradition and its individuals so I wish to go there. »

Might you have got had a profession in one other sport?

“Not likely, to be trustworthy. I used to strive lots of different sports activities rising up, basketball and soccer, stuff like that. I even performed for my native soccer group. I had lots of enjoyable. However ever since I used to be a child and began using, I at all times wished to pursue a profession in motocross. Nonetheless, outdoors of sport, there was one profession I loved, and that was being a firefighter. It is a occupation that conjures up me rather a lot. »

The 2015 Junior 125cc World Cup held in Spain was the primary vital race for you towards international riders, what reminiscences do you have got?

“Solely good ones. Advance that, I had solely accomplished 4 races in EMX125 so I used to be fairly new to the class with little expertise. I managed to do the pole throughout qualifying. I had my first tv interview with Lisa Leyland and I’ve fond reminiscences of it. I did not communicate English very effectively on the time, so we needed to put together the interview earlier than it began, however in the long run it was too quick. Lisa wished to increase, however I did not perceive what she was asking me (laughs!). I in all probability answered issues that had no relation to the query. It was humorous ! Then in the course of the races I had some good battles for the lead and completed fourth total. However as I stated, it was model new for me to take part in this sort of occasion. I believe it gave me confidence in what I used to be able to doing towards the very best. »

Good understanding with Tim Gajser, will the Spaniard handle to overshadow him? © Honda

Nonetheless afterwards, between the EMX250 and the MX2, all the things was not simple, when did you doubt your future?

“Clearly I had doubts as a result of I moved as much as MX2 after which right down to EMX250… I had some powerful occasions the place I did not know what was going to occur sooner or later. Issues weren’t going effectively after I parted methods with Kawasaki F&H. It was the primary large group I labored with so I used to be very grateful. However I had no certainty about what occurred subsequent. Fortuitously, I had one other alternative once more within the European championship. It was a step again, however I noticed it as an opportunity to come back again stronger. Nonetheless, I by no means had the possibility to essentially trip a aggressive bike. For me, I could not present my true potential. It was difficult each mentally and bodily. I by no means gave up, I at all times surpassed myself. I attempted to provide all the things to beat this dangerous patch. It was troublesome, for certain, however I at all times believed in myself. »

How did you are feeling in your first podium in Russia in MX2 in 2021?

“It was wonderful! Like I stated earlier than, I needed to undergo some powerful occasions, however I switched to Honda that 12 months. It was the primary time that I felt good with the bike. I felt aggressive sufficient to make podiums. I arrived on the first race in Russia after winter. Getting straight to the rostrum was wonderful for me and an effective way to begin a brand new season. »

You then managed to take the crimson plate, was that lots of additional strain?

“It was a terrific expertise greater than something. I had by no means considered having the crimson plate, and it was a terrific feeling. I want I may have saved it longer, however in Italy I crashed on the primary lap. It price me lots of factors this weekend. Nonetheless, it was nice to trip with the crimson plate after a number of tough years. I actually did not see it as additional strain as a result of I used to be genuinely having fun with that second. »

Like many younger drivers, you had pace, however you made lots of errors. Is it troublesome to search out the steadiness between going quick, however not an excessive amount of?

“I believe I created this using fashion, this aggressive fashion as a result of I felt I needed to overcome my bike’s weaknesses. I needed to give a bit extra of myself to struggle with the opposite riders who had higher gear. I needed to give extra, and it is a bit dangerous, so in the event you’re over that restrict, crashes occur. Now I’ve realized to be smarter, extra in management and really feel extra snug on the Honda 450 CR-F. It permits me to loosen up somewhat extra. Although I made a number of errors at the beginning of the season, I rode higher and higher afterwards. Expertise actually helps you and helps you make fewer errors. »

With this new manufacturing facility rider standing, Ruben should work carefully with Japan © Honda

Is it troublesome to go from MX2 to MXGP?

“It was actually troublesome, as a result of on the finish of 2021, I went straight from 250 to 450 from one weekend to the following. I did not have any preparation and I did not have time to set the bike up correctly. Nothing was actually tailored as I wished, so it was difficult. However in some way the 450 CR-F suited my using fashion very effectively and I knew the bike was fairly good. Nonetheless, resulting from this lack of preparation, my arms damage badly. It was a pleasant expertise all the identical. I am glad I had the chance to do it and present individuals what I used to be able to. »

The whole lot went effectively afterwards with a primary podium in Latvia!

“It was actually wonderful. I am third within the first moto and even within the second, Coldenhoff passes me one meter from the checkered flag. I knew at that second that I used to be on the rostrum. On the time, I used to be so comfortable, however later, I regretted being overtaken one meter from the end. As a baby, I by no means actually thought of getting on the rostrum so rapidly in MXGP. On the time, it was arduous to consider. I used to be very nervous in that second run as a result of I knew it was doable and possibly that is why I misplaced that place on the finish, however total it felt wonderful . »

Rubern Fernandez will now have the identical machine as Tim Gajser © MXGP

A second podium in Indonesia, however then an damage after a fall, how did you expertise it?

“I used to be in nice form after that podium in Indonesia. I felt so good. I used to be the quickest in free apply and I had simply set the quickest lap in Qualifying. I felt like I may trip even sooner. Possibly it is an urge that I want to manage somewhat and relax in occasions like these. I used to be using so effectively, however one small mistake had large penalties. After that it was troublesome. I wished to get again on the bike as quickly as doable. I needed to go to the hospital for various issues and it was not simple. It was troublesome to beat. I wished to complete the season, however I knew I additionally wanted to take a break. »

Signing for Honda HRC will need to have been a dream come true. How thrilling is it to affix the world champion group?

“In fact, it is a dream come true and it is a terrific reward for all of the arduous work and hardships I’ve needed to undergo in my profession. I am taking somewhat break in the meanwhile, however I am wanting ahead to working and actually getting ready to reach in 2023 in the absolute best situations. »

The shut relationship between the Honda 114 group and the HRC implies that you already know lots of people with whom you can be working in 2023. Does that make issues simpler and take somewhat strain off you?

“It definitely is. I do know virtually everybody within the group and I have already got relationship with them. I believe it makes a giant distinction to have relationship. With Honda 114, we have been already working with the HRC group and I already had good contact with everybody. I am Spanish and lots of the group is Italian, which suggests we now have an analogous tradition. It additionally makes issues simpler and makes me really feel snug. »

What are the primary emotions on the 450 manufacturing facility of the Honda HRC group?

“I am very proud of the bike and the enhancements which have been made. I am unable to wait to get again to work and have enjoyable on the bike every single day. After this break, I do know it is going to get even higher as we work and fine-tune the bike. »

What are the targets for 2023, each when it comes to race outcomes and total championship?

“I achieved all of the targets I had for 2022, so now I’ve to extend them. I had two podiums, I need to struggle extra usually for the podiums. I’ll essentially search to acquire my first victory. My goal is to purpose for the highest three within the championship. Now I’ve to work to attempt to make that occur and we’ll see how issues go. »

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