I was very lucky to be able to chat for ten minutes with America’s next World Champion. James Rispoli took himself and his flamboyant style up to BSB on the Anvil Hire Tag Racing Yamaha and despite finding it difficult, he’s determined to make it work in the remaining rounds. We talk all things MotoAmerica, the level of competition in BSB and his ambitions for the rest of his career!
How is this season going for you?
Well, it’s been far from the best but we keep pushing every session. We have had some good qualifying sessions, especially the 7th at Silverstone. At the beginning of the year, we had a massive tyre life issue, and we couldn’t really figure it out. We have managed to find some pace but just not been able to find a result. The class is so stacked this year, you could be half a second off and be 10th. We have been in positions where we were just 0.5 off but ended up 18th. Our aim is to get inside that 1 second bubble, which has been tough this year, but we are getting there. Right now, we are just preparing ourselves for next year.
How have you found then transition from Supersport and Superbike?
Well, it’s definitely not point and squirt on the Yamaha. If you do that then you will be going nowhere. It’s been tough at some of the circuits because their nature is point and squirt but for us we are trying to figure out how to ride the thing and it seems to show, as we are moving further up the order now.
How do you find racing in the UK after your time in the US?
I really enjoy it in the UK, it’s where I want to make home for a bit. The fans are amazing! There’s huge crowds, it has to be one of the most stacked championships in the world, it’s similar to Moto2. If you’re just a little bit off the pace, then you are nowhere.
How do you find having a teammate?
Last year it was brilliant because I had Andy Reid as a teammate and in every session last season, it was rare that we were more than a second apart at the front. It was great to look at his data and we would always recognise where one of us was faster. This year, it’s a different game. Shaun (Winfield) is doing really well as he is doing some of his best lap times but the series is that strong that you can’t really learn much. All in all, it’s been OK.
Do you get any support from the factory?
Not a lot if I’m honest. I do personally through my connections with Bradley Smith and stuff like that but nothing from the factory.
Do you see yourself as the next big American rider on the scene?
Yeah I mean that’s what I’m trying to do. I believe that if you can do it here then you’ll be able to do it on the world stage, and that’s no disrespect to any of the world guys, I just think that because both series are so strong, if you can go well on a good bike here then you’ll be able to go well on a good bike there. I’m not saying you’d be able to take it to Jonny Rea or anything like that but you could manage a top 10. BSB is great preparation for the world stage. It’s always been my dream to be a world champ, it’s just how do we put those steps in place. Cameron Beaubier and those guys are doing what they need to do; they’re making the best decisions they can at the time. Cameron has a factory Yamaha deal over in America and he’d be stupid to leave it, as he’s making good money.
Do you have much involvement with MotoAmerica?
No, I don’t actually. I used to bigtime but not anymore. It seems like they are trying to pull the plug and get things moving on it, but we will see what the deal is.
What are your 2017 plans?
We are trying to work on a few options now but nothing is solidified but yeah we should be in BSB next year, and that’s all I can say!
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko