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Familiar look to 125 scene as Valencian IRTA tests come to a close

Familiar look to 125 scene as Valencian IRTA tests come to a close

Familiar look to 125 scene as Valencian IRTA tests come to a close

It was a perfect day for testing in Eastern Spain as the five-day IRTA session finally came to a close at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana today. The skies were clear as the 125 bikes completed their second day of work, with the top of the timesheets finishing with something of a familiar look to it. Once again Lucio Cecchinello was quickest around the Cheste track, the Italian smashing the existing lap record by 1.78 seconds.

Cecchinello, who was also quickest yesterday, set a time of 1'39.684, with his new team-mate Alex De Angelis the only other rider to join him under the 1'40 barrier, capping what will be a pleasing session for the Safilo Oxydo-LCR team. The two Aprilia riders were followed by last year's top two in the class, Manuel Poggiali and Youichi Ui, who both worked solidly throughout the day on the new chassis of their respective Gilera and Derbi bikes. Poggiali set a best of 1'40.123, while Ui was just 0.81 seconds behind.

Also the manager of the Safilo Oxydo-LCR team, Cecchinello stated, 'Obviously I'm very pleased with how things have gone. I didn't expect to be fastest and it's very good to have done it, but only as long as we know that we still have valuable work to do on the bike's set-up. It's still too early to say anything about how the season will go, but I hope we are both up there.'

It looks as if audiences are in for an equally as thrilling and tight a battle in the 125 class this season. In all, eight riders went quicker than the pole position record set by Toni Elias here last year, and no less than fourteen were underneath lap record pace, Borsoi's 1.41.464 from the 2001 race. With five different manufacturers appearing in those fourteen positions, once again the smallest GP category promises much excitement.

There was an impressive ride today from Frenchman Arnaud Vincent, who makes the change to Aprilia from Honda this season. He was fifth quickest ahead of Gino Borsoi, Max Sabbatani and another rider to switch to the Noale factory over winter, Pablo Nieto. As the 125 riders now pack up their kit in Valencia, all eyes will turn to Portugal, where MotoGP and 250 class tests begin tomorrow at the Estoril circuit.

Official best times


Lucio CECCHINELLO, ITA (Aprilia) - 1'39.684

Alex DE ANGELIS, RSM (Aprilia) - 1'39 993

Manuel POGGIALI, RSM (Gilera) - 1'40.123

Youichi UI, JPN (Derbi) - 1'40.204

Arnaud VINCENT, FRA (Aprilia) - 1'40.254

125cc, 2001

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