Jason DiSalvo: What’s Next?

Paul Carruthers | June 10, 2010

Jason DiSalvo was ecstatic when he signed to race in this year’s World Supersport Series with the ParkinGo Triumph BE1 team. Now, five months and seven rounds later, he’s back home. And not so ecstatic.So what went wrong? DiSalvo finished eighth in the season opener at Phillip Island, 12th and Portimao, there was a DNF in Valencia, a 12th at Assen, he crashed on the opening lap at Monza, followed that up with a non-finish at Kyalami… and it ended with an 11th-place finish in his home race at Miller Motorsports Park.Shortly thereafter, DiSalvo and the team parted ways. “It was a bummer that we had to make the decision that we did,” DiSalvo said yesterday. “Nobody wants to end their relationship like that, but I think both us and the team agreed that we weren’t ending it necessarily on bad terms. “So now the New Yorker is back home and looking for work. So what went wrong? We chatted with DiSalvo to get his take on his season and his plans for the future.So what’s the plan for the rest of the season?I just want to get back on anything, really. Now it’s just a matter of funding. Teams just don’t necessarily always have an abundance of resources or whatever. I’m not really in a position to have any personal sponsors and I’m not really interested in putting up any money of my own. I’m just kind of waiting for something, but whatever it is I can tell you that I’ve never been more motivated in my life to go out and win.Do you foresee having to sit home for the rest of the season?I hope I don’t have to sit. That would be the worst case scenario for me. That’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want to sit at home all year or sit at home period. I want to be out there racing. I hope something comes up soon and we’re all just working really hard to pull together our contacts and make something happen for the rest of the year.Did things go bad straight away with the team or did it just deteriorate?It kind of deteriorated, really. At the first test in Portimao our trap speeds were pretty strong actually. But by the time we went back for the race, I compared a couple of sessions in similar conditions where everybody else was running similar times, and we were 8, 9 ks [5 to 5.5 mph] down from the test. I never really understood why the speeds were so down and I could never really get a straight answer from the team. They would always say that I wasn’t getting a drive out of the corners or I wasn’t shifting in the right place. I was shifting too early or I was shifting too late. It’s not like this is my first time riding a factory level bike in those sorts of conditions. I took all their advice every time, though, and would change my shift points by a couple hundred rpm. You know as well as I do, a couple hundred rpm in your shift point doesn’t make 10, 15, 20 kilometers an hour difference on a straightaway. It was just unfortunate.Then when we go to Miller and you look at the final sector where there’s not really any straightaway to speak of and it’s all corners, and I was consistently in the top two fastest guys in that section… it was kind of like, ‘okay, something’s got to give here.’ Contractually, there was a way for me to leave because the team wasn’t fulfilling some of their end of the bargain so they were in breach. That was how it came about. I had been letting it slide all year. I’d asked for the changes to be made so both sides of the deal would be solid, but that wasn’t in their plan I don’t think. It wasn’t like… well, there’s not much more I can say about it.So Miller was the last straw?The decision was one that had been coming since Kyalami. We had a lot of issues at Kyalami. We blew two motors and every engine they put in my bike was tired. They put in a new motor after I blew the first motor and they told me I had to break it in. Apparently, they hadn’t had time to bed the engine in on the dyno, so I spent nearly an entire session breaking in the motor. That one ended up blowing up as well in the race. We also had electrical issues at that race that put us out for a session and then a problem with the bike only running on two cylinders for another session. So it was kind of after that race when I really had to step back and look at the situation and say, ‘is this good situation?’ I’m going to these tracks, new tracks, and if I can’t get the track time because my bike is the garage, it makes it difficult to learn tracks. That’s just a small piece, but it’s easy to look at one small piece of the puzzle and say, ‘That’s bad.’ Then when you look at another piece and say, ‘That’s bad too.’ Then you start looking at all the pieces and make the whole picture… there wasn’t too much good that was coming from it. It was just a matter of cutting the loses.How do you explain the other riders on the team finding success… most notably Chaz Davies?Technically speaking, Chaz is on a different team. It’s separate, but not. With four guys, it’s tough… from a manpower aspect. They had to fly motors in to Miller straight from Italy because we didn’t have enough to be safe for the end of the road trip. After morning warm-up, I told them that my engine was starting to tie up, the one that was in my A bike, and they didn’t have anything for me. If someone else would have engine problems in those two races, it was only me who was having engine problems, but if one of the other riders would have as well, it would have been catastrophic for the team. I don’t even know where they would have… I guess they could have sourced an engine from somewhere in America, but it wouldn’t have been to their specs. It would have been a nightmare.As for the future, are you looking at the AMA series again, or going back to World Supersport?I would take anything anywhere. Really, I just want to be back on a bike and be out there riding. That’s my main goal. I wouldn’t have any problem with going back and racing World Supersport… unless you take the last two teams below us in the championship, my bike was the next bike on that list. So anything other than those last two teams on the list is going to be an improvement.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.