16 years ago
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Final 125 IRTA test session of pre-season kicks off in Catalan sunshine
The last IRTA test session of the pre-season for the 125cc class got underway today at a sunbathed Circuit de Catalunya today. Almost all the riders in the category made it out on to the track, with the only absentees from the field being 14 year-old Jorge Lorenzo, who is recovering from the injuries he suffered after a nasty fall in private testing here on Friday, and his Spanish compatriot Hector Barbera. The conditions certainly helped the teams as the majority of riders were able to complete a good deal of laps, and some excellent lap times were posted.
Quickest of the day was reigning World Champion, Manuel Poggiali, who managed somehow to fit in an enormous 94 laps over the day. He posted a best time of 1.51.332 which sneaks under the existing record of Lucio Cecchinello set here in the race last year of 1.51.368.
The San Marino youngster commented, ´I am very pleased because we've worked hard and tested a lot of new things, and all our hard work throughout the winter is paying off. I´m happy because not only did I do the fastest lap, but I managed to complete many laps which were all very consistent and so this gives me confidence.´
Poggiali was a quarter of a second faster than his impressive compatriot Alex de Angelis who ended the day second quickest, whilst Telefonica Movistar rider Daniel Pedrosa finished third. Other title favourites, Youichi Ui and Lucio Cecchinello, came in 4th and 5th fastest respectively as the top of the time sheet took on a familiar appearance.
While satisfied with his own performance, as team manager Lucio Cecchinello took great pleasure in the work of de Angelis who continues to go well this winter, ´Alex has shown how quick he is capable of going, and he is a rider with great potential. I think we can continue to improve, but I´m hopeful we can have a good season´.
The top ten was made up by Arnaud Vincent, Nobby Ueda, Stefano Bianco, Mirko Giansanti and Masao Azuma. 15 year-old Briton Chaz Davies came in 28th fastest after enduring some problems with the suspension on his Aprilia. The second day tomorrow will provide most teams with a final chance to make improvements before the season gets under way at Suzuka.
16 years ago