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Aprilia 250 - The wolf in the claws of the lions!

Aprilia 250 - The wolf in the claws of the lions!

After the first official practice session, the riders in command of the Aprilia Rsw 250 have Japanese star Katoh in their claws – a dangerous situation for the world championship leader, even though the classification is only provisional. In front of everybody is a feverish but still vey strong Tetsuya Harada, then Katoh, followed by three more Aprilia, of Marco Melandri, Jeremy McWilliams and Roberto Locatelli who obviously feels very good here in Japan.

Tetsuya Harada (MS Aprilia Racing) #31Best time in 1´52»945

«Things in general are not so bad: The motorcycle runs quite well, even though the front suspension is still not set-up to perfection. You have to consider that I never ever rode in Motegi aboard a 250, as I was riding the Aprilia Rsw-2 500 twin cylinder the past two races here. If you look at it in a way that it´s my first time here, I certainly can´t complain. It´s just that when you arrive at an unknown track, you run into more problems, whereas this time, things went very well straight away. I live close to here, but I don´t look at this race as anything special, it is a GP like any other one, only that here are more of my fans.»

Marco «Macio» Melandri (MS Aprilia Racing) # 5Third time in 1´53»910

«This was a very difficult day because of the ever-changing conditions: Rain in the morning, dry, but not completely dry, in the afternoon when the track was, let´s say, moist. We tried a bag full of different set-ups, but the bike still isn´t perfect. We hope that we´ll be able to ride in dry conditions tomorrow in order to improve the set-up, because this is an especially difficult track for us. Until now, the bike doesn´t steer easy enough and it is too nervous under brakes as much as under acceleration. This track isn´t as difficult for us as Estoril where you have to be very careful with the gas, because at least one part of the circuit here is fast and flowing. In the wet, the grip on this track isn´t bad, but not good enough to have fun in rainy conditions, either.»

Jeremy McWilliams (MS Aprilia Racing) #99Fourth tempo in 1´54»104

«In the afternoon session, the dry one, we lost well over half an hour, then we found a different tyre with which I felt better riding and going fast. All in all, I wasn´t consistent enough, but I hope I can achieve that tomorrow.»

250cc, 2001

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