Superbike: Why is Yonny Hernández struggling so much?

Former MotoGP rider Yonny Hernández had come to World Superbike to rise again after some tough seasons. But Pedercini Racing’s Colombian has had a quite disappointing season so far, with three 11th-place finishes as his best results.

Hernández finished 11th in Race 2 at Buriram and then he scored points in three more races till Imola. After Italian Round, Lucio Pedercini said to that things would have gone better from Brno, but since then Hernández was twice again 11th (Brno and Laguna Seca, both in Race 1) and scored points in two more races. This means no real improvement…

We interviewed Lucio Pedercini to ask him why nothing has changed yet. Here’s what he said.


You had said that your season would have started for real at Brno, but the results are the same as before. Why?

It’s true that the results are still the same, but in Brno, for example, Hernández finished wet Free Practice 1 in third place and he was in top 10 also on the dry track in FP2, before he crashed at Turn 5. The bike had a lot of damage following such fall and this prevented us from performing more laps in FP2 and trying a long run in FP3. I know the results are not good, but we’ve made a step forward and now Hernández can keep the same pace as Razgatlioglu and Ramos. The problem is that it lasts just half a race: we haven’t found the right setup to go fast with consumed tyres and this makes us struggle a lot in the second half. We’ll try to solve the problem next month in Portimao, where we’ll test on 23rd and 24th August.

How can an independent team like yours go on, despite the lack of results?

We have to consider that Hernández has finished more than twice 12th or 13th with less than 30 seconds off the winner, a gap that jsut one year ago was enough to be in top 6. The level has raised a lot and even if the results themselves may “suck”, we’re not far from the front and this helps us going on. Furthermore, several sponsors support us because we’re a serious team, proven by the fact we’ve never missed a race since 1993. Unfortunately, we always have some problems preventing us from being in better positions: this year, for example, we’ve had no testing and this forces us to use Free Practice sessions as a test and not to get ready for Superpole and races. Moreover, Yonny’s huge crashes in Phillip Island and Brno made him lose some confidence and it takes some time to have it back.

The “concession parts” system should have helped you.

It has: our Kawasaki is now very similar to the factory ones and the only area where there’s still a small gap is electronics. Our bike has nothing less than Toprak Razgatlioglu’s one and the fact he scored a podium finish at Donington proves that also a private Kawasaki can be competitive. The problem is that the regulation limited rpms to both factory and satellite Kawasaki teams and so the gap between us and KRT is still the same. Furthermore, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes can do lots of testing and are followed by Kawasaki engineers…

Have you already planned 2019 season?

Hernández asked us to remain together also next year and we will talk about it soon. I think it would be good: if we faced 2019 with already one season and some testing behind, we could finally get some great results. I also would like to line up a second bike, but we’ll think about it.


Photo Credit: Pedercini Racing

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