I took my end as a journey. Salach must not go crazy, says Abraham

He is one of the few Czech riders to have reached the royal cubature of MotoGP. Karel Abraham now works as a commentator at Nova Sport. In an interview for TN.cz, the 32-year-old runner looked back and described things he would do better, including buying a well-known cryptocurrency. But he also talked about Filip Salač or Marc Márquez, who hasn’t been very successful in recent weeks.

What memories do you have of your career as a motorcycle rider? Would you do something different?

Mistakes were certainly made. I could have done certain things in the race differently, at times I could have taken more risks. I remember, for example, the first season in MotoGP, when I fought for fourth place with Carl Crutchlow in the last race. Now I think we should have used dry rubbers from the start, which we changed. It’s like, it didn’t look like that back then. But we think differently that way. If I had known, I would have bought a bitcoin for all my money. I’m sorry for some situations, but in the moment we do what he thinks is best for him.

You raced in Moto2 one season and finished first in the very last race. It must have been an incredible feeling…

It was a completely indescribable feeling that I would like to achieve one day, even if it is irreplaceable. But other feelings come. One of the other indescribable things happened two months ago when we had twins. I like to remember it and I am satisfied to have been able to experience it. But maybe other similar feelings will come in life.

You ended your career in 2019. Were there any further negotiations or did you just want to end it?

It was unexpected. We had a contract signed until 2020. We weren’t happy with the team, but I think we signed everything correctly. I take it as a trip. Our contract was terminated and I learned during the last race of the season that I would not ride with this team next year. At that time, all the seats were taken and there was no place in MotoGP. I got a lot of offers from Superbikes, Endurance and there were also Moto2 offers. But I no longer wanted to. I got up and didn’t want to go back to the worst categories. I can’t say if it was a mistake, it was a big life changer for me. However, everyone can be teased and I received a very attractive offer, but I wanted everything twice, and I’m not just talking about the money. I knew no one would give it to me, but I planned to try it. I just wanted to finish, which finally happened.

Can a runner communicate with other runners on a race weekend, or is there so much racing and focus that it just doesn’t work?

It is true that competitors from all categories do not meet very often. Everyone has their day planned out based on training, communicating with auto mechanics, or having lunch. It overlaps perfectly. As for the riders of a category, of course they meet, but not very often. Everyone concentrates on themselves, on the race and there is a lot of work at the weekend. However, it did not happen that we just went to talk. In the MotoGP category, we met at dinners, for example, where we exchanged a few words, but that’s about it.

Until recently the circuit was held in Brno, but now it is not part of the MotoGP program. Do you think the Grand Prix will return there one day and what are the main reasons why they are not going?

I would really like the races to come back to Brno, but I don’t see it very real. There was huge interest from the Brno circuit and the MotoGP organization, but unfortunately it didn’t interest other entities which I wouldn’t want to name completely. There was no money. Personally, however, I think the Grand Prix was profitable and became one of the best sporting and cultural events in the Czech Republic. But I don’t want to say more, it’s not mine.

You worked for several years in MotoGP alongside Valentino Rossi, who graduated last year. How did you perceive it?

Valentino Rossi was a phenomenon among fans, people and society as a whole. He came to the bike and immediately became a great rider, he was perfect and he rode really brilliantly. There was a great showman in it, which helped him. He made jokes, he always came to the club dressed differently, he just did shit, and people liked it. Also, around the time it started, there was a boom in new television, social media, and the internet in general. There were more and more cameras and he could make his jokes, which people were interested in.

Karel Abraham in the last race of his MotoGP career, here in a duel with Pol Espargar

Czechia has Filip Salač in the Moto2 category. What do you think is most important to him in the current rookie season?

He should focus on learning as much as possible, gaining experience and above all not going crazy. He rode very well in Qatar, but it was the first race that was not yet finished. It can drive very well, but I don’t want to evaluate its performance yet. He needs to gain as much experience as possible to learn how to ride with the best in the whole class in the future. I believe he has it. There are faster and more advanced guys in Moto2, it rarely happens that someone jumps in there and immediately goes for the world championship title.

If we stay with Filip Salač. What do you think goes through the mind of a competitor who moves up to a better category and falls twice and doesn’t finish in the first three races?

Of course, it’s frustrating and he feels bad for not meeting his expectations. It is perhaps even worse that he rode very well in Qatar and perhaps exceeded his expectations. The first season is mostly about learning, not about bringing great success to the force. It doesn’t matter that he falls at the start. When do you drop it other than now. Maybe it will be a success next season. It’s a shame now, I understand that it’s sorry for him and all his fans. It would not be fair to blame him this year for some mistakes that occur.

You talked about more experienced riders, but is there anything else that makes the transition from Moto3 to Moto2 difficult?

The circuits are a bit different because there is a different track. Elsewhere he brakes, elsewhere he adds, otherwise he enters the turns. Motorcycles are a little heavier, they go around 50 km/h faster, which is a terrible speed at which to brake the vehicle. It’s also more physically demanding, there are a lot of aspects. But for me, for example, it’s bad when someone from Moto3 goes directly to MotoGP. Jack Miller showed he has it, and he managed to move because he rides in rush hour, but I don’t think it’s good in terms of safety. Going from races where you drive at 240 km/h to a series where you can run at speeds of up to 360 km/h is clearly wrong.

Marc Márquez is now accused of having risked too much. He fell badly in Indonesia, another race did not take place. What do you think?

Since his big crash two years ago, his results haven’t been crazy. It’s a big phenomenon among runners and always will be, so I don’t want that at all. He is a six-time MotoGP world champion and this accident had a big impact on his career. I think coming back to the best will be difficult. He hasn’t raced for a long time, mentally he won’t be the best, because he’s not getting the results he wants. He has health issues and struggles with double vision. The boys, who are more than equal rivals and win world titles, got in on the action. I don’t think he will ever be considered the biggest favorite at the World Cup.

And who do you think would be the world champion?

I don’t want to guess too much. Bastianini won at the start, but I don’t think that will be the norm this season. Aleix Espargaró is now in the lead, but I don’t think he will be world champion with Aprilka. It’s tangled and there’s a terrible number of followers for the world champion, the riders themselves don’t know who it could be. We have to wait about six races, after which we can favor someone. I have my favorites and runners, whom I support less, because I know some personally.

You were a co-commentator for MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 for some time. It’s probably a completely different position from the one you held during your racing career…

In 2016 I co-commentated the whole season because I’ve ridden superbikes and commented the last three seasons, so it’s not a complete novelty for me. We are only commenting from the site this year. But I mostly do it because I really like it. I know these people, so when something interests me, I call or write. Mainly straight from the source. When we were at the first races in Qatar, it was absolutely brilliant. I had no stress, which I never felt during the races. I was calm about who was going to win, but before that I had a lot of nerves not to spoil anything and how it would actually turn out.

You mentioned that you were looking for behind-the-scenes information. Who provides them to you most often?

There is someone in almost every team who has worked with me in the past. So we know each other very well, so when I come over, I ask about the race and her feelings about it. They run and sometimes remind you that it is not appropriate to publish something more for example. I respect that, because not telling information, even if it is interesting, means continuing cooperation and behind-the-scenes information in the future. If I disappoint them, they will never tell me anything again.

This is how Karel Abraham assessed the first race in Qatar, where Filip Salač had a good qualifying, but then crashed in the main race:


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