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The rise and rise of the test rider in MotoGP

The rise and rise of the test rider in MotoGP

The rise and rise of the test rider in MotoGP

Teams in the MotoGP World Championship are increasingly coming to rely on test riders. To underline this fact, the European 250cc champion, David Garcia, has become the latest addition to the list of official test riders by joining Kenny Roberts' Proton KR team. The Spanish rider has added his name to those of American, John Kocinski, French youngster Sylvain Guintoli and also the Italian veteran Marcellino Lucchi, who having ridden in every class of GP with Aprilia, is now working on the development of their 4-stroke prototype which Regis Laconi will race this year.

Kocinski has been working as a test rider on the Yamaha M1 4-stroke for more than a year. The American took part in the recent IRTA tests in Valencia, and his presence contributed to an improvement in the times of Max Biaggi after the Italian encountered problems with the chassis set-up on his bike. Biaggi summed up Kocinski's contribution by saying, 'I was able to get on John's bike and quickly post a better time. I'm really happy that I was able to overcome this problem rather than having to wait until Estoril to test the chassis again.'

Sylvain Guintoli made his official debut as the Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3 test rider in Valencia despite having already lapped on the YZR500 in Almeria. He'll be working to help with development on the bikes of Nakano and Jacque. Team manager, Herve Poncharal, explained, 'Sylvain will be completing a huge amount of kilometres with two main objectives. On the one hand he'll be exhaustively testing all new parts so that Shinya and Olivier have them at their disposal in the Grand Prix without having to spend too much time testing them themselves. On the other hand, the laps he puts in will enable him to step in for one of our two riders should the need arise.

David Garcia will start testing for the Proton team in April. McWilliams and Aoki will then be able to profit in the Grand Prix from work put in by the Spaniard on the Team Roberts' bikes.

500cc, 2001

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