After a tough and unrewarding 2014 rookie season the Hero EBR bosses back home cleared the decks and started again for 2015, with Larry Pegram’s AMA squad forming the template for the official Hero EBR WSB squad this time around. As well as Pegram on one bike, the other 1190RX belongs to Niccolo Canepa.
The Italian rider has been performing what seemed to be miracles on it in testing and was only just over a second from the best in pre-season PI tests. A crash in practice at PI, after a problem with his machine, saw Canepa miss the first race due to an ankle injury. The good news is that it is not fractured and he will be all ready for the next round on March 22nd.
“I have a broken ligament in my left ankle but nothing too serious because I do not need any surgery,” said Canepa. “No fractures, which is good. It will be at 100% for Thailand so I am quite happy. I am resting right now and then there will be some physiotherapy for a while but I am already training at the gym, so I will be ready for Thailand.”
Canepa’s disappointment not to ride on raceday and also lose the possibility to score relatively well in Australia, are being soothed by the fact that his 2015 prospects should only be enhanced as the year goes on. “I think we can improve the bike through the season so I am quite positive for the rest of the year,” said the 26-year-old Genovese. “We did quite a good job in testing and we can make that kind of performance again. It makes me confident for the rest of the season. For sure PI is a good track for us because you do not need a lot of horsepower there, and there are other tracks like that. Maybe we will suffer a little bit in some tracks but in some others we can do a very good job. This is very good for the team and for me because nobody expected to see us so fast.”
With an all-new circuit for all riders in WSB to face in Thailand in a few weeks time, the multiple unknowns for all may even help Canepa and his crew, as none of their rivals will have any data or circuit knowledge more than the all-new EBR squad. Canepa is not scared of facing a new circuit, according to his statement.
“I am happy because usually I am very fast in new tracks,” said Canepa. “I remember in 2012 when we went to Russia for the first time, in Moscow, I made my best result of the season. I feel more comfortable in new tracks. We can’t use any data from last year because the bike is different; different electronics, so we have to start from zero every time we go to a new track. All the other bikes have the data from last year and the year before. So this is the first time, the only time in 2015, we will start at the same point. It is a good opportunity for us for sure.”