Jamie Franklin: I'm feeling great after that win. It's something we've been aiming to do for the past two seasons, but haven't been able to do it yet, so to finally secure that feels like a huge weight has been lifted. Definitely a platform in which to build a proper Championship challenge from.
R: Absolutely. It has been a bit of a tough season for you so far. Or at least, tough in terms of what you have been used to in the past. How difficult has this been to overcome?
JF: I won't lie, it has been difficult. We know we have a great car, and unfortunately have been let down with some reliability issues. At times it was very demoralising for the team, but as we always do, we've pulled together and are now in, what we believe, is the rightful place at the top of the standings. I'm not saying we've had it harder than other teams though. I mean, obviously we've still had wins and podiums this season, but the pressures and challenges are different, but still tough.
R: Going on the reliability, obviously there has been a lot of speculation on the team's relationship with Honda, and whether or not the two of you will continue your partnership into next season. Is this something that you're able to comment on right now?
JF: I've had no new information since the last time you guys asked me. The Honda engine is still a great engine, and has helped assist us in winning every Championship thus far. Whilst we have had offers from other manufacturers, it's not necessarily true that anything will change. I will listen and look at the data and make an informed decision towards the back end of the season to ensure that whatever happens, we remain in a position to win and compete for titles.
R: Something which has of coursed changed for this season is that we have two suppliers of tyres - Michelin and Firestone. There hasn't been much talk about the performance of the tyres in the first eight rounds. What do you think?
JF: As I made clear when I chose Michelin as our supplier, they have experience in racing, and in my view are the obvious choice. Having said that, both seem to have done a good job so far. You could say that Michelin look to be the better of the two, with us, Liverpool and Rossi in the top three, all running Michelin tyres. However, I don't think there's much in it.
R: The commentators seem to believe that both tyre manufacturers are having problems with tyre warm up, as drivers do seem to struggle upon coming out of the pits, compared to those who pit later. Is this a concern for you and your drivers?
JF: No, this isn't a concern. In fact, I think it's somewhat...inconclusive. It's very clear that those who are pitting are putting a vast amount of fuel in the cars, and of course will be slower. To think that has anything to do with the tyres is quite baffling. Especially with teams taking to one stops more so than ever, that is the cause, not the tyres. The tyres have been able to last race distances, they are of no concern.
R: So the late pit stops in Silverstone were not down to extreme tyre wear?
JF: No. Well, it may have been for other teams. But for us...if you look at Ruiz, he was pumping in fastest lap after fastest lap, we had no worries over tyre wear. It was only later in the race that we realised that fuel calculations were slightly off, and opted for a splash and dash at the end instead of risking it.
R: Going into Montreal, what are you expecting from the team, the car and your competitors?
JF: At this point, it's still quite hard to predict, which must be great for the fans. We know we have a great car, but on occasions, Rossi and Liverpool have been right there. Like Silverstone, it's a track we've never won at before, so we'd love to repeat our result here and pull out another win, but we just don't know yet. I know we'll be there or there abouts.