Yesterday, we featured the first part of the interview we did with Danny Webb at Indianapolis at the end of August 2009, in which he talked about the role Alberto Puig had in his career and what it was like to work with the De Graaf team. In the second and final part of the interview, the British 125cc rider discusses his hopes for 2010, the problems he had with the 2009 Aprilia RSA 125, and the training he does to prepare for Grand Prix racing, both physical and mental.
MM: Next year, you want to stay with team and you want to stay in 125s?
DW: Yeah, it's going to be 125s again most probably, also I'd love to stay with the team. Nothing is for certain yet, but I'd love to stay with them, but again, it's just the money side of things. Obviously the crisis in the world at the moment, it's really hard to find sponsors and that kind of stuff, but I'm sure that if we all work together, and get our heads down and start looking for a bit of sponsorship then I'm sure we can get it and keep carrying this dream on. [Webb signed with the WRB Team for 2010 at the final round of 2009 at Valencia - MM]
MM: Next year, most of the top guys are going to Moto2. That's going to put you in with a real shot of the championship. How do you see next year, if you have the right equipment, and who do you think is going to championship material?
DW: Well, I think if we can get the bike sorted out for the end of this year then we can run in the top 5. It's just a shame we can't, it's just really hard. We are working on it and hopefully we can get it sorted out. I mean for sure next year Marc Marquez is going to be really strong, he is already strong. There's a few others who can pop up now and again. We shall have to see, won't we? Hopefully we can have some good winter testing and get the bike set up, and then go from there. And hopefully challenge for the title.
MM: What exactly has your problem been with the bike?
DW: Just the front end really. The rear's been pretty stable throughout the whole year, and we haven't really had a problem with the rear. It's just the front, you know. When we get it to go into the corners, then it won't hold its line; when we can't get it to go into corners, it holds its line. It's just, it's all a bit up in the air, and we can't move with it. But we're going to try something this weekend, and hopefully it works and we can have some good results.
MM: You're known for training really hard. Your brother is a physical trainer professionally, so talk me through a typical training day.
DW: Normally I get up and go down to the gym. Lately, I've been going down to the gym and there's been an army trainer there, and - I hate him to bits [laughs] - I hate him to bits because every time I go down there he catches me, he does what a trainer does, he pushes me to the limit, he pushes me that much that I end up being sick and end up being dizzy. He sure pushes me to the limit and I think that's a good thing, I feel a lot better for it a day afterwards, just not at that time.
When I go into the gym, it's not really working with weights, it's just press ups and sit ups, and working with my own body weight, not forcing anything. I push to myself to the limit that way. I go out running quite a bit, there's a few good running tracks where I live, a few with hills and with a few different inclines and that sort of thing. And that's good for running. I don't really do a lot of cycling, it's just not my thing, I go running, I like going running. It's just one of those things, when I go out running and I come back at the end of a run, I'm absolutely knackered, then I'm happy. If I go out on the cycle, for about a 60 or 70 kilometer cycle ride, I come back and I'm not so drained. So I feel a lot better for going running, and that kind of stuff.
I mean, training's important and all that, but I don't think it's really fitness levels that matter. I think that when you train and you have a good training session and you've trained to the limit, it just pushes you through that mental barrier. It's more mental, I think the reason that a lot of people train is that it's more mental than physical.
MM: So what you're doing is training your mind by training your body, rather than training your body just strictly to improve your aerobic capacity or whatever?
DW: Yeah, me and my brother have a run and when we go out on that run, then we try and beat our own time. And if we beat our own time, then it just pushes you through that mental barrier, and you're just improving every time. It just makes you feel better in your head and it makes you feel stronger. Obviously, you are stronger, but it goes to your head and you feel like you're ready for it and you feel good.
MM: So it's about suffering to make yourself feel stronger. How much time do you spend training, how long are you in the gym for? Are you in the gym every day and running every day?
DW: No, I normally do the gym and then go running, but in the gym I'll spend a good two and a half hours in there, and then go for a swim after. I do a lot of swimming as well, because it works every muscle in your body and you know, you're in water, you've got nothing to distract you, you can't just put your earphones in and just go and do your own thing. It's more like racing, you can hear everything and you can't put your iPod in and you have to focus on what you're doing and keep going, keep going, keep going. And that's why I like swimming, because you've got a lot of things to distract you like you have in racing, and you've got nothing to put in your ears to escape.
MM: Right, so you can't choose your distraction, you have to deal with the distraction which come in your way?
DW: Yeah, when you're in the gym, you've got your earphones in, you're not really looking about, noticing what noises are about or what someone else is doing, you're just doing your own thing. And that's where swimming helps with racing as well, because you've got all these other things going on around you, and you can't put your iPod in to block them out.
MM: Do you do any kind of specific mental training or not? Yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts?
DW: No, I just get on with it and see what I can do.
MM: So the concentration you're talking about, you get that more from swimming than from anything else? Because you have to stay focused for 40-odd minutes when you're racing.
DW: Yeah, you get used to it after a while, things going on around you and just ignoring them. I'm pretty good at it - someone will shout at me and I'll have no idea what's going on. Yeah, it's good, I enjoy my training and I feel good at the end of it.
MM: What about diet?
DW: My diet, I can just eat whatever I want. I'm quite small, so. I'm not a big eater anyway, but I can eat steak, whatever, I can eat chicken, I don't have to eat salads, I could go and eat at McDonalds every day if I wanted to, but it's not good for you is it? But yeah, I can eat whatever I want really. I don't put weight on because I do my training, I stay the same weight.
MM: But you don't have a specific nutrition program focused not so much on calories but vitamins, making sure you have a balanced and varied diet?
DW: No, I just eat whatever, drink whatever and get on with my training.
MM: Are you still living at home with your parents?
DW: Yeah, my mum cooks - every time my dad cooks it's either burnt or we get food poisoning from it! So it's best that my dad doesn't cook. Or me, as all I can cook is cheese on toast, and that's it, so...