John Kocinski Q&A
Jeff Ware: It has been said that this was the bike that turned Cagiva from also-rans to almost-wins and if you didn’t take the ride in 1994 Cagiva would have pulled the pin. What is your take on that? John Kocinski: Yes, it is probably true but a lot of my greatest memories have been when I rode for Cagiva. It was a company of great passion. JW: When you think back on the V593 and particularly the wins you achieved how do you feel? JK: It is one of my greatest accomplishments to win on a machine that no one else other than Eddie Lawson has won on. It was heartbreaking when Cagiva could not continue in 1995 because we were so close to having a machine that could win a World Championship. JW: How much of the work, in development terms, was already done when you arrived at the team? JK: Obviously, there had been work done, but it was far from complete. JW: What were the strengths and weaknesses of the V593? JK: The strengths were the agility and steering. The weakness was the narrow powerband. JW: Was this motorcycle capable of winning the title? JK: Yes, most definitely. JW: Were you keen to stay on for the 1995 season if the team had survived? JK: Absolutely. I loved the team, the engineers, I had great mechanics. It was just a matter of making some small improvements to the power delivery and handling (Editor’s note, Kocinski took a year’s sabbatical, before moving to the Cagiva group’s factory Ducati squad in World Superbikes for 1996 where he won races and was in contention for the title). JW: Daryl Beattie said that overall he rates the bike pretty highly and that yourself and Eddie Lawson proved that it was a reasonable motorcycle. But were you guys over-riding to compensate for lack of performance or was the bike really that good? JK: No matter what machine you ride there are always issues. But definitely in 1994, the machine was the best it had ever been. I think the results say the same. JW: What did it for you with 500s – the challenge, the acceleration, the adrenaline or the fear? JK: That’s exactly what does it, I think, for everyone: the challenge, the acceleration, the adrenaline and fear. JW: Give us one word that sums up the Cagiva. JK: Passion.
LEFT: Cagiva’s 1994 GP team of Kocinski and Doug Chandler with team-boss Giacomo Agostini.
BELOW: When he and the bike were on form, they were unbeatable.