As it happens every year, Motor Bike Expo hosted the official launch of several teams, who decided to unveil their plans, riders and goals for the new season in Verona. One of them is Mirko Cecchini’s VNE Snipers Team and one of the changes they made for 2020 is the signing of Filip Salač, as the Czech rider will be the new team-mate of Tony Arbolino.
Salač, who turned 18 last 12th December, is set to experience his second season in Moto3 World Championship and he will try to restart from the great 5th place scored at 2019 Valencian GP, who enabled him to finish his rookie season on a stunning high. Previously, the rider from Mladá Boleslav spent three seasons in Moto3 Junior World Championship and he did the same in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, where he scored six podiums and several further top-5 finishes.
Palmen in Motorradsport was at VNE Snipers Team launch and after the event, he could ask five questions to Filip Salač.
Filip, what do you expect from the new season?
I’m very happy to be part of VNE Snipers Team. It’s one of the best teams in Moto3 World Championship and I’ll try to make the best of the opportunity I was given. 2020 is my second year in the series and I’ll restart from what I learnt last year. The first races of 2019 were difficult, since I didn’t know many tracks, my bike and most of the riders, but then I made some steady progress and I scored valuable results during the second half of the season. About my goals for 2020, I can’t say where I want to be in the championship standings, but this year I definitely want to be on the podium, and not just once. I’ll take it race by race, without focusing so much on the championship.
Last year you ended your rookie season in style, by scoring your best result in Valencia…
Yes, it was very nice. I really like the circuit of Valencia and I felt great on the bike since the beginning of the weekend, as proven by the fact I was second in FP1. During the race I was very strong and in spite of missing the podium by just one tenth, I’m happy with how it went. I hope to be that fast again this year.
What are the main lessons you learnt in 2019?
I learned so much and it’s hard to say what are the most important lessons for me. In any case, I grew a lot as a person, because I had to travel around the world alone, at just 17 years old, and such experiences are very helpful.
One more important change I faced concerns the race weekend. Until 2018 I competed in Moto3 Junior World Championship and there, you hit the track already on Thursday. In MotoGP, by contrast, the weekend starts on Friday and the riders have to push hard since FP1, because they have less time to make laps. It’s an important change, but I could adapt to it.
You are one of the few Czech riders racing at such a high level. How does it feel?
I like it. It implies lots of pressure, since Czech people are eager to see great results, but on the other side I am more important and esteemed. This wouldn’t happen if I was Spanish, for example: in that case, I would be just one of the many…
In conclusion, is there anyone you wanna say “thank you” to for being where you currently are?
I’m very grateful to ACCR (the Czech motorcycling federation, ed), my family, my partners and all the people who have been by my side during my career and still support me.
Palmen in Motorradsport says “thank you” to Filip Salač for his kindness and wishes him the best for 2020.