PUMA MOTORSPORT: When you were racing did you find time to go out and do other events?
AH: We’re all connected to motorsports, so everybody, all the racers, do stuff. For me, I’m going to go to the 24 hour car race at Nürburgring, which was a long-term life dream of mine, so I’m going to do that for the first time and it’s normal that guys like Valentino get asked by sponsors to go to those kinds of events, but I think it’s something you do because it’s great to go to other motorcycle events or motorsport events in general, because that’s the atmosphere which he’ll feel comfortable in and Valentino goes to the TT and rides around the track and he’s gotta tell the people that the races there are way more crazy than all the MotoGP races on this planet!
PUMA MOTORSPORT: What’s your favourite track that you’ve raced at?
AH: My two favourite tracks are Mugello in Italy and Phillip Island in Australia down under.
PUMA MOTORSPORT: What is it about those two particularly?
AH: Mugello is set in beautiful Tuscany mountains and it’s a very fluid track. I like the soft corners and I like race tracks where you really have to slow. One thing adds to another if you like sliding a rocket and it’s all smooth and nice and those two tracks do that. Any racer says it’s beautiful to ride there and plus Phillip Island is right on the ocean. The scenery’s great and it’s just a combination of a lot of things that mean you love to go there and love to ride the track - those two are outstanding.
PUMA MOTORSPORT: What do you make of the season so far?
AH: In MotoGP it’s interesting, but I’m a little bit disappointed because there’s more interest in the stuff that goes around off the track than on the track. A couple of scenes overtaking - Rossi taking out Casey Stoner in Jerez – lots of discussions about it, Marco Simoncelli taking out Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans - Pedrosa breaks his collar bone and stuff like that, there’s been not so much action going on. I could watch it another ten times. This year especially for us now being media guys there has been so much work around it with all the interviews – “How do you feel?”, “Did you get treated right?”, race control and stuff like this. There has been more going on off track than on, but so far the Championship is still close and Casey Stoner will be the guy if he doesn’t get taken out again, he’ll be hard to beat. There are a couple other guys trying hard, but I think it’s gonna be Lorenzo against Stoner for the rest of the year. If Ducati and Valentino Rossi can manage during the season to get the bike adapted to Valentino because all that stuff’s really difficult, so it’s not the racing this year that attracts me a lot, but all the stories that go around it.
PUMA MOTORSPORT: Do you think that’s taken away from the spectacle of the sport?
AH: 125 races are always fun because of the level and they’re not afraid of anything and then there’s Moto2. Moto2 is single tyre, single engine, single clutch - there’s a lot of stuff that everybody has the same thing. Being a commentator sometimes there’s so much overtaking in one lap you can’t even talk about everything, it’s impossible, so for us it’s perfect. I hope MotoGP is trying to go that way a little bit and I hope it’s going to work out because if you look at all the races Moto2 is pretty outstanding right now.
PUMA MOTORSPORT: Are there any riders from those two series that are worth watching out for that are going to be the stars of the future? Perhaps another Valentino Rossi in waiting?
AH: There’s a couple of guys yeah, especially if you look at Moto2. For us it’s good for Germany as Stefan Bradl is leading the Moto2 class and it’s a hard and tough category and he’s leading it at the moment and he’s really in a comfort zone. He’s been just outstanding this year so far so we could even see him next year in MotoGP. There is also a Spanish guy called Marc Marquez and he’s just 18 years old, and even in Moto2 he’s good enough to win races already so those two are pretty outstanding at the moment.