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Katja Poensgen has a relaxed festive period as she awaits delivery of her new Honda 250

Katja Poensgen has a relaxed festive period as she awaits delivery of her new Honda 250

Germany´s Katja Poensgen, who represents the only female entry into the whole of the World Championships, hit the headlines last year as she became the first woman to score points in the 250cc class of Grand Prix racing. 2002 will see her continue within the same team with whom she ran the last six races of the year in 2001, Hardwick Racing. Here Katja explains how she spent the holidays and her preparations for the new season which lies ahead:

I had a very good Christmas, which I spent at my sister´s house in Bavaria. It was a real family occasion and was nice and quiet. I went to a party on New Year´s Eve, which was excellent. I had just come back from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, where between the 27th and 30th December I took part in an Enduro event. It was great fun, I only had one small crash and it was challenging to go over sand, volcanoes and all the other terrain we encountered.

In terms of preparation for the 2002 season, the bike arrives in the next two weeks, and I can´t wait. I am looking forward to getting back on because the last time I rode a race-bike was back in Brazil. We have five test dates set out so far, beginning in February. We should be in Almeria and Barcelona, take part in the IRTA sessions, and then plan to have one final outing at Suzuka prior to the season opening there.

I am relishing this season, mainly because I now know what I am up against in terms of all the circuits, and also I will have a team-mate in Alex Debon who can hopefully give me some help. I still need more experience with the settings of the suspension and the gearbox, and with the set-up in general and I hope he can give me advice as to how to progress with it. I have no concrete targets for next season, just to make more points than I did this year, I don´t want the pressure of having to achieve and want to concentrate on my riding and get closer to the other leading riders.

2001 taught me many things, I learnt a lot in different ways, and not only in racing terms. I learnt about the people in the paddock, and not to believe everything straight away. It taught me that the GP world is a very hard one, and there is lots of work required to get to the top. Last year was difficult because of changing teams halfway through, which meant a change of machinery, but everything is sorted out and is more secure this season, so that should help.

All in all, 2001 was a successful introduction for me into the World Championships. My target was to qualify for a race, which I did without worries at every single Grand prix of the year. Also I managed to escape any major crashes, except at Le Mans, but that was the only race I missed through injury.

Looking forward to seeing you all again in the new season


250cc, 2001

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