Hi Dani. First of all, thanks for coming to Box Repsol and talking with us so we can learn more about the things you do when you’re not racing.
Did you have time to do any water sports during the summer break in July?
The truth is that between the testing and the promotional events, my holidays weren’t too long, but I did manage to practise a few water sports. I did some wakeboarding with some friends, where you ride on a board over the surface of the water while holding on to a rope, being pulled by a boat, and I was also lucky enough to try out an electric wakeboard at home. I usually go to Lake Geneva (located between France and Switzerland), which as you know is very close to where I live. At the end of the summer I went water skiing (similar to wakeboarding but with skis) and wakeboarding in Salzburg (capital of the state of Salzburg in Austria).
Do you ever try to take trips so you can practise these types of sports?
In theory it’s a good idea and I would like to be able to, but in reality I never have enough time for trips. Maybe in the winter, but I prefer to go somewhere hot and, of course, to be with my friends.
Where’s a good spot you would recommend for water sports?
I’m lucky to have Lake Geneva right on my doorstep, so I usually go there.
Do you notice a big difference being on water rather than on asphalt? What does each surface feel like?
Yes, there’s definitely a huge difference. For beginners, it doesn’t hurt as much when you fall. The truth is that, over time, you can get the same sensations on water as you get on the asphalt, and you begin to understand how it responds. But it’s very different from riding a motorbike.
Do these sports help you at all with MotoGP?
I never thought about it that way, but maybe working on balance and using your torso could apply to MotoGP.
Of all the sports you’ve tried, which do you consider yourself to be good at and in which would you like to improve?
I’m not especially great at any of them, but I’m good enough to have fun doing them. I enjoy all types of water sports (wind sports as well as motor sports), but windsurfing tops my list. Of course I’m always trying to practise and get better, but time is my enemy…
What would you think of signing up for a jet ski championship?
Ha, ha, no thanks, but I have signed up for an amateur windsurfing competition. Wish me luck!
Do you prefer to do sports by yourself and focus on improving, or do them with friends and have fun?
A bit of both. I like to cycle as part of my training, and that’s an individual thing (you’re alone on the bicycle, pushing yourself and your body to the limit), but at the same time, you’re with a group of friends. So I enjoy the best of both worlds.
Are there any water sports that you’d like to try but haven’t tried yet?
Sure, maybe kitesurfing (instead of getting pulled by a boat, your power comes from a kite) or wakesurfing (after the boat pulls you up, you let go of the rope and surf on the boat’s wake). I’ve never tried either, but it’s always good to try new things.
What’s the best feeling you get when you practise water sports?
The best is planing, when the board skims across the surface and you can feel the speed. But then there’s the time you spend in the water, the scenery, the sun, the photos, the friends sharing the moment; it’s all special.
Do you have any advice for people who want to practise water sports for the first time?
Just do it! The worst that can happen is you fall in the water. It’s really fun and there’s a lot of options out there for everyone, regardless of skill level, physical condition, age, etc.