Jules Cluzel World Superbike debut at Phillip Island was not a piece of cake, but in the end it went beyond expectations thanks to a formidable Race 2, that saw the young Frenchman finishing with a solid 7th place after moving off from 17th spot on the grid.
The FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider, who competed in the past three season onboard a 600cc machine and jumped on the GSX-R 1000 K13 for the first time only last January, has shown already - despite a few crashes in testing - a remarkable connection with his bike. WorldSBK.com spoke with Jules Cluzel about his debut and much more.
It hasn't been an easy World Superbike debut round for you, but you managed to get a strong result in Race 2 at Phillip Island. Are you happy of how things went in the end?
"Yes I was really, because seventh was un-hoped for after all problems we had during test and race week-end! I did not do many laps in the four testing days because I had three big high-sides, one day in hospital and on Saturday of the race week-end I managed only three laps, so my target for the race was just to get more experience for the future and at the end I was able to fight with the leader group!"
How did you find the series compared to your expectations?
"I'm happy because it's really how I imagined it. I knew it would be tough racing as the field is so strong. I had never done two races in a day either so did not know what to expect really, but I like the two races in the same day."
Do you still have to adapt to the 1000cc bike? What's still to improve?
"Yes for sure in many points! I believe that we can be fast, but in race two at Phillip Island in last seven laps I was slower compared to the front group so I have some work to do next races with race distance."
Are you feeling confident for Round 2 at Aragon?
"I just can tell you that I'm excited to get back on track and to get more laps with my new toy. So that's means I'm enjoying myself a lot every time I ride the bike and looking forward to being in Aragon!"
The 2013 calendar features a new round at the Intercity Istanbul Park, a track you already know. What can you tell us about the circuit, do you like it?
"I am really excited about going back to Turkey. It's a very nice track with a good layout and very fast. I like the changes as it goes up and down and I think it will suit the Superbikes well. I love riding at this track and think that everyone else will as well!"