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Capirossi and Barros confident of success on the evolution NSR500

Capirossi and Barros confident of success on the evolution NSR500

Capirossi and Barros confident of success on the evolution NSR500

Team West Honda Pons riders Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros are both looking forward to the start of the MotoGP season after initial tests on their new evolution Honda NSR500 machines and are confident of success despite the imminent arrival of the big bore four strokes. The privateer squad are used to battling against the odds and will this year face their biggest challenge ever as they take on the new factory machines, but the 'Team of the Year' from 2001 believe that they will be ready to spring a few surprises once the season gets underway in Suzuka on April 7.

'The NSR500 that I am riding this year has been significantly improved and has great potential,' said Capirossi, who was in impressive form in Sepang last month, where he bettered his qualifying time from the Malaysian Grand Prix in October. 'I think it will push the RC211V in the corners and I also believe that the reliability of the fully matured machine might well prove to be its greatest asset. At any rate, once the season opens, all I can do is race to the best of my abilities and I'm sure we will be at the front again.'

Despite his early optimism, the gritty Capirossi is realistic that the 500 machines face a difficult challenge in the MotoGP World Championship this year. 'There has never been an easy season in 500 racing, but I believe the MotoGP class this year will be even tougher. The new Honda four-stroke is running tremendously fast and will be very difficult to beat.'

Barros agreed with his Italian team-mate: 'At the beginning of this year, the race situation will be completely different with four-stroke RC211V and two-stroke NSR500 running in the same races,' said the Brazilian. 'To be honest, I don't know what the season will be like. However, one thing that is certain is the fact that RC211V has clocked pretty good lap times during the tests and so undoubtedly it will prove to be a powerful rival for me. At any rate, I can hardly wait for the opening round as when we will be able to see more clearly how this year's battle between two-strokes and four-strokes is going to be. I already feel excited just thinking about it.'

500cc, 2001, Loris Capirossi

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