After ending 2015 season with the world event at Le Mans, valid for the International KZ2 Super Cup, where he defended the OK1 official colors, Riccardo Negro cannot wait to race again regularly. After his success in the WSK Euro Series and two seasons where he seldom raced, Minardi.it caught up with Riccardo to talk about his present, past, and future.
In your palmarés you have a success in the WSK Euro Series and a third place in the World Championship CIK-FIA 2003, a 2014 far from races and a “fluctuating” 2015. Why weren’t you able to race regularly despite your good results?
It is difficult to answer. Surely, I had good results in 2013, but the following year I had few opportunities to race, maybe because of wrong decisions.
In 2015 you raced again. How do you judge your season?
Once again, it was a fluctuating season where I had not the possibility to get me noticed with regular racing. I was back on track after six month and this has affected my results. At Le Mans we could collect an important result, but we had to retreat for a failure.
Let’s go further into details. You started the year at Adria in the WSK Super Master Series with CRG.
I raced again after a six months break. Surely, it is not easy to be back in a high level competition after a so long period because you have to find your rhythm and oxygen again. It helped me to remove some rust.
…and to prepare the European FIA-CIK KZ2 Championship with the team Renda Motorsport.
We had some difficulties during the first event in Sarno, while we failed the final due to a disqualification in Spain. At that point we took a difficult decision: to skip the final in Belgium because we were offside with no chances to win the European podium.
…And ending the year at Le Mans as an OK1 official driver with a Iame engine.
I was very happy to receive a convocation from OK1 for Le Mans. Before leaving, I had the opportunity to have two testing days to learn about the new material and reach a good feeling with the team and its engineers. When we reached the circuit we spent a lot of time to improve all the material, but I was able to gain the Final, our minimum goal. After a good recover, racing with good chronometric times, the water sleeve broke forcing me to retire.
What are your goals and plans for 2016?
2016 is a great unknown in this moment. Surely, my goal is to race again at the top levels regularly. I confess my goal is KZ. Along with Giovanni Minardi and Alberto Tonti of the Minardi Management, I am working to find the best solution.
How much is it important to race regularly for a kart driver?
Driving regularly is fundamental when you race with your kart at high levels because you have to keep your rhythm and physical shape. Even during a forced stop, between a race and another, it is important to have the opportunity to take to the track for some training sessions. In karting, the only rule to be trained is “consuming the asphalt”.
Photo: Alexandros Vernardis/The Racebox