BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Imola, Italy, 04/05/2016, FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
Althea BMW Racing Team rider Raffaele De Rosa is one of the candidates for the title in this year’s FIM Superstock 1000 Cup (STK1000). His results in the first three races speak for themselves: A podium finish in MotorLand Aragón, a dominant victory in Assen, another podium in his home race last week at Imola. He has the same number of points, 57, at the top of the overall rankings as Leandro Mercado. In addition, De Rosa took the lead in the 2016 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.
In this interview, the 29-year-old native of Naples explains why he feels at home on the BMW S 1000 RR. De Rosa talks about how racing continues to fascinate him, his sporting hobbies, the meaning of his tattoos – and reveals that he is extremely superstitious!
Question: It is your first season on the BMW S 1000 RR. How easy was it to adapt to the bike in pre-season testing?
Raffaele De Rosa: “This first part was easy let’s say, as the bike is very intuitive, so you can immediately be quite fast. Then, to make that second step and go from fast to very fast, takes a little more time. The first approach was very positive, as the bike gives you confidence. It was easier than I expected to be honest.”
Question: For the Althea BMW Racing Team it is also the first season with the RR. In the first race, you were close to winning, in race two, you won, now you raced to the podium again in Imola. What is the key to success? You as the rider? The strong teamwork? The bike? Or a combination of everything?
De Rosa: “As ever, and like I always say, you win and lose as a team. So the result is down to all of us. We were working together last year, which I think was another advantage for me, as I have continued to work not just with the same team but with the same great team. The win didn’t come out of nowhere, as we were close to winning the first round. So we need to now continue this trend.”
Question: How important is the support of the Munich experts of HP Race Support who work with the team on site?
De Rosa: “Very important, particularly in terms of the electronics and engine! I have a good relationship with the engineers that are with us at the track.”
Question: What are the strong areas of the RR?
De Rosa: “The engine for sure, and the acceleration in the first gears, also the ease with which you can enter the corners, as it’s quite intuitive.”
Question: During a race weekend – are you completely focused in a tunnel or is it no problem for you to get “distracted”, for example like at your home round in Imola with family, friends and fans around you?
De Rosa: “I normally do the same things every weekend so I‘m able to stay focused. Sometimes I might even be a bit mean to my family, but they understand I’m working. My father comes to every race, but not as my ‘dad’ but rather as my assistant, like a colleague.”
Question: Do you have special routines during a race weekend?
De Rosa: “If I start to tell you, we’ll be here all night! I have a lot of superstitions and, therefore, a list of things I always do in the same way and in the same order when I prepare for the races, like putting on one glove and boot before the other, always the left and then the right, getting on the same side of the bike etc. etc. It’s a long list.”
Question: Can you describe the fascination of motorcycle racing?
De Rosa: “For me it’s all about the feeling I have when I ride a bike, it’s all I want to do. I’ve ridden in different championships and for me personally it’s not the atmosphere in the paddock or anything like that, but simply getting on the track and competing. That’s what I’m here for!”
Question: How do you spend your time when you are not racing?
De Rosa: “Motocross riding! I have different groups of friends, there’s the motocross group, the motard group, the football group. As you can tell, I do a lot of sport! I also go running and do some work in the gym with my personal trainer, who’s a former Olympian and a friend of mine. I prefer motocross, even though it’s a bit dangerous and I have to be careful not to hurt myself.”
Questions: Do you have any hobbies, passions, that have absolutely nothing to do with racing or do you live racing 24/7?
De Rosa: “As well as the sports I’ve just mentioned, I also go to the cinema very often, a couple of times a week, and I enjoy having dinner with friends too.”
Question: You have several tattoos. Do they have a special meaning?
De Rosa: “Yes, they all have a special meaning, most of which are not really racing-related, but are linked to people close to me, family members and loved ones. There’s always a reason behind each one, and even those that perhaps I don’t like so much anymore are still important for their meaning. I have one for my father for example, one for my mum, the number of Marco Simoncelli who was my friend.”
Question: How would your best friend describe youself as a person?
De Rosa (laughs): “He’d say bad things I imagine!! I don’t have one particular best friend but a big group of friends and we joke a lot with each other, the closer we are to each other the worse things we say about each other!”
Question: Final question – a question that actually does not need to be asked. What is your target for this season?
De Rosa: “To win the title!”