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MotoGOGO: Nika Raskov Interview
You’ve tuned in to MotoGoGo; a chatcast for everything fast.  My guest tonight is MotoGP’s newest phenom, Ducati Corse’s own Nika Raskov.  I am your host, Colin Mackay.  You’ve been here before and you know the format.  Use the MotoGoGo App to send your questions for Nika.  As those queue up, I will remind our audience that we are completely naked in the studio.

Nika Raskov:  Clothes invite drag, Colin.
Colin:  I’m in drag, Nika.
NR:  I can see that.
CM:  You cheeky fucker.
NR:  Language!  Kids could be reading this.
CM:  It’s nearly 4AM.
NR:  You’ve heard of time zones?
CM:  I’ve heard it all, darling.
NR:  So we’re done here then?
CM:  Ha. You people should see this woman.  She’s pure evil I tell you.  The evillest, cute-as-a-bug’s ear demon you’ve ever set eyes upon.
NR:  I’ll not dignify that with a comment.  Surely some drunk insomniac has written in.  Unless your app sucks.
CM:  Actually, no one has written in at all.  You’re terribly unpopular.
NR:  That’s unsurprising.
CM:  And a huge lie.  The Welsh lie, don’t ever forget that.
NR:  I’m sorry, did you say something?
CM:  I’ve got some facts in front of me, do you want to hear them?
NR:  Are they as fun as learning that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn?
CM:  Err...yes?
NR:  Alright then.
CM:  You’ve raced professionally since age 15 in the bigs.  You debuted in Formula Moto, won British Superbike at 17, won World Superbike at 18, World Supersport at 19...won MotoGT at 20.  Then 2nd at GT at 21 and you stayed despite everything that happened, we won’t get into that…
NR:  Thank you.
CM:  ...and you won another GT Championship at 22.  I’ll remind everyone, in caps please, NO ONE STAYS IN MotoGT LONGER THAN A SEASON BECAUSE IT’S CRAZY.
NR:  (chuckles darkly)
CM:  Now at 23 years of age, you’ve moved to MotoGP...and are leading in the championship points.  That’s remarkable.
NR:  Thank you.  It’s all the bike though.  Du-CAT-i.  (laughs)
CM:  Bollocks.  I’ve watched you race.
NR:  (whispered)  Creeper.
CM:  (laughs)  Really, you’ve got phenomenal control.  Very smooth.  Except when you change your style.  Then you make my heart leap from my chest because I think you’re about to high-side.  Really.  Stop that.  Why do you do that?
NR:  (laughs)  Le Mans?
CM:  Yes!  You started the season riding as though on rails.  Why were you sliding around all of the sudden in France?
NR:  Well since nobody is reading this...we had an issue with the motor update.  We were due for fresh engines, it’s every three races now for everyone, and there was a shipping problem where only one arrived.  We gave that to Alex and I kept on with the old motor.  I was down on low-end power by far so I had to keep the revolutions up and that meant sliding around.
CM:  God.  It was amazing to watch.  You looked as though you were just playing around.
NR:  Well I was.  (laughs)
CM:  What?
NR:  We dyno-ed the motor very briefly and it was down so much that (Giancarlo) Luca wrote it off.  We didn’t think the bike would be able to make the minimum qualifying pace at all.  You saw how slow it was in the beginning of Friday’s Free Practice.  
CM:  Yeah the commentator’s were all over speculating you were testing some little, insignificant thing like you do that ends up making you look brilliant in the end.   
NR:  If it works at all.
CM:  Things haven’t worked?
NR:  Oh, many times.
CM:  Go on.
NR:  So I had ten minutes left in the morning session and decided to “test the tyre longevity” while I was out there.  I was sliding around trying to eat them up as quickly as possible and Luca put my lap times in through my HUD as I was mid-pack with what the satellite riders were turning in at that point.  I went back to the garage and everyone was just staring, thinking I was this amazing genius when in fact I was just trying to waste some tyres.
CM:  You were just goofing off?
NR:  (laughs)  Yeah!  I’m really five years old when it comes down to it.
CM:  I have heard rumour in the pits of some mysterious prankster…
NR:  Oh there’s no mystery.  I couldn’t keep a straight face about anything if I tried.
CM:  Do go on.
NR:  I explained what had happened and Luca green-lit me for FP2 while the crew changed some configurations to better suit that kind of riding style.  Then I stole Alex’s tablet and looked up a guy called Garry McCoy...and what lines he took.
CM:  Are you serious?  McCoy was what, 40 some odd years ago?
NR:  Yes.  Famous for his sliding style.
CM:  I can’t believe it.  
NR:  Ha.  FP2 went well and we had some more things to change before qualifying.  So while the lads tweaked the bike, I studied the track like mad and plotted my lines.
CM:  Then won from Pole position on a damp track.
NR:  Yes, that part worked in my favour as I was planning on sliding around anyway.  It was just a mad run of luck is all.  Bad then good in the end.  
CM:  You’re a nutter.
NR:  Never denied that.
CM:  Ready for the game then?
NR:  I was getting bored of the conversation.
CM:  Cheeky fucker.
NR:  Language!
CM:  Right.  For the uninitiated, this segment is a series of questions from our audience meant to be answered in one word or a brief sentence.  You may pass on a question but then will owe that person an autographed photo.
NR:  Oh I despise that.
CM:  What?  You’re well known for your lengthy autograph sessions!
NR:  I never know what to write!  “Thank you for not making me sign your hairy chest or bald baby’s head.”  Or, “Please do not make this into a tattoo.  You have your whole life to live yet and I am not that popular.”  True all.
CM:  Oh God, you are horrid at something after all!  That’s refreshing to know.  (Laughs)  We’ll begin now.
NR:  Bring it.
CM:  Favorite race track and why?  @lexi_nation
NR:  Mugello as it’s very technical and the fans are amazing.
CM:  Number of tattoos and what are they?  @99_demon_fan
NR:  Zero.
CM:  Really?
NR:  Fact.
CM:  Interesting.  Sorry, next up.  Personal romantic status?  @pashion_ducati
NR:  Married to sport.
CM:  (laughs)  First thing you do when you get home.  @pangalmania
NR:  Open the door?  Or water my plant.  Depending on specifics.
CM:  Favorite non-motorsport related hobby.  @two7ive5hoes
NR:  Reading.
CM:  Prettiest trophy you’ve won so far and why.  @little80peep
NR:  The Catalan GP gave out a magnificent working seascape...quite posh and unnecessary but I’m a sucker for fountains.
CM:  Such a girl.
NR:  I can like pretty things!
CM:  Next question.  There was a rumor that you worked on your own MotoGP bike at Qatar.  Is that true and why?  @greasem0nk3y982
NR:  That is 100% accurate.  Alex crashed in qualifying and needed the extra hands so I sent my mechanics over to help him.
CM:  Didn’t he end up beating you at Qatar?
NR:  Yes he did.
CM:  Bad idea then.
NR:  Yeah.  (laughs) See if I ever help him again.
CM:  Do you have your CCD motorbike endorsement for the street and if so, what do you ride?  @pansyf*cker
NR:  I do have the license, yes.  I ride a ‘43 Superleggera Stoner Edition that Casey gave me after the second GT title.  
CM:  You ride that on the street?  What the hell do you do with it?
NR:  Sometimes I like a good hamburger.
CM:  So what, you just park a 90k motorbike in a lot?!
NR:  I pull it up on the sidewalk.  Then I let kids sit on it.  It’s fine.
CM:  I hate you.  I’m no longer a fan.
NR:  Back down to none then.  Alright.
CM:  Well here’s a creeper for you.
NR:  Awesome.
CM:  Where do you live?  @raskovmarryme
NR:  In my home.
CM:  Nearly done.
NR:  Thank God, you’re insufferable.  I bet all of these questions are yours.
CM:  What type of music do you listen to/what’s on your playlist right now?  @picachu3
NR:  Right now...Red Hot Blues, Anna Kendrick, Kit Kat Splat from Dark Ages and Pink.
CM:  O-kay.  Penultimate question.  Along the same lines as clearly you should not be allowed in public.
NR:  I couldn’t agree more.
CM:  Favorite telly program and movie.  @teateainacup
NR:  Uh.  I might need to pass on this one.
CM:  Oh come on.  Inquiring minds.
NR:  You didn’t care for my last answer.
CM:  Answer the damn question, woman!
NR:  I don’t watch the telly.
CM:  What?
NR:  I don’t have time to follow programs.  I watch movies though, nothing recent or anything you’ve likely heard of.
CM:  Indulge us, you’re getting paid for this.
NR:  I am?
CM:  In bitcoin.
NR:  Nothing useful then.  You might’ve said carrots.
CM:  Pay you in carrots?
NR:  Carrots are delicious and great for the eyes.
CM:  Are you drunk?
NR:  No, I don’t drink.
CM:  Ever?  Don’t drink, never have or never been drunk.  There’s a difference.
NR:  Don’t drink, never have and never have been.
CM:  As near-Irish, I honestly don’t know how to respond to that.  Are you even human?
NR:  Sometimes I wonder.
CM:  I’m going to need you to distract me by listing movies you’ve watched in the last...we’ll say...month.
NR:  Lilo and Stitch.  Trolls, Trolls 2.  The Incredibles Trilogy.  Bug Out.  Mission Impawsible.  Annie.  Ghostbusters 2016.  Moana.  Frozen.  Nero and the Temple of Athens.  Titan A.E. .  Peaches and Nash Go to Broadway.  Despicable Me.
CM:  Stop.  What the hell?  I haven’t heard of any of those.
NR:  Cartoons mostly.
CM:  You really are five.
NR:  I told you.
CM:  Alright.  If you weren’t racing motorbikes for a living, what could you see yourself doing?  @birdistheword77
NR:  Oh, well.  Maybe a pilot?  
CM:  You like flying?
NR:  Not in passenger planes, no I hate it, but a plane with a bubble-type of cockpit because I like looking at the world from high above it where you can see the whole horizon.  It’s so peaceful.  Pilot or...cosmonaut on the space station!  Yeah!  I’d never get any experiments done though as I’d just stare at the world the whole time.
CM:  Interesting.  Last one is always mine.
NR:  Naturally.
CM:  You’re remarkably successful at what you do.  What’s your secret?
NR:  I practice and train constantly.  Train like it’s the real thing, that’s how I approach it.
CM:  Outstanding.  Thank you.  Nika Raskov, everyone.  I appreciate you coming in and I thank you especially for that Tomboy-X ad, which is blown up and framed in my bedroom right now...and my living room and my bathroom.
NR:  (laughs)  Body double but you’re welcome, world.
CM:  You, dearest, are full of shit.  
NR:  Truer words have never been spoken.  I thank you for your time and I’d like to thank all the fans for their support.  Please don’t ask me to sign your hairy chests; it ruins the markers.  
CM:  (laughs)  Be sure to tune in tomorrow as Round 7 on the MotoGP calendar gets underway at Mugello.  Best of luck, Nika.  I’ll be cheering for you to win.
NR:  I bet you say that to everyone.
CM:  Yes I do.
NR:  (laughs)  I won't disappoint you then.
CM:  See that you don’t.  I want you to autograph my chest.
Nika Raskov:  Ugh!  Bring your own marker.
Colin Mackay:  I will.  Now shut it, I’ve got to end this horrible interview.

MotoGoGo out.
So....I'm still waitin for an answer to my proposal.

Me loves me some Nika.

-- Boifan forever
@ boifan_forever

Hey man, we're sorry your question didn't make it on tonight's segment.  Our quota for creepers was full. can always take a shower, slick your hair back, give the ol' snarling-wolf tee a sniff test and head down to the paddock to see Nika in person.  There's always an autograph session for the masses.  We promise not to call security right away.  Real men propose in person, not over the interwebs.  Who knows, she might want to share a life with you in your mom's basement.

See you there!

xoxo MotoGOGO

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