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Locatelli sees Fonsi and Melandri as title favourites

Locatelli sees Fonsi and Melandri as title favourites

Locatelli sees Fonsi and Melandri as title favourites

Roberto Locatelli played a starring role in the Gran Premio Cinzano D´Italia, where he claimed the runner-up spot, and in the process his first visit to the podium, and best result of the season. The excellent second place, behind Marco Melandri, meant a hugely successful end to a weekend that wasn´t without incident for him. Locatelli suffered a fall in Saturday qualifying, and almost didn´t finish the race after a coming together with Battaini on the final lap.

´The result on Sunday improves my position in the championship a bit. Until then I hadn´t made it on to the podium, but I believe I could have with a bit more luck´, said the TU Racing Team rider. However, on taking a broader view of the championship picture, the 27 year-old gave the label of title favourites to two other Aprilia riders, Fonsi Nieto and Marco melandri. ´Both of them have won two races, and they are the ones I see as the strongest of my rivals. What´s more, they are both using factory machinery. Both Battaini and de Puniet, as well as myself, can fight for the top places, but it´s going to be difficult for us to challenge for the title.´

The Aprilia rider did not take part in private tests at Mugello after the GP because he had not fully recovered from his crash on the Saturday. However, he is confident he will be back to full fitness at Montmeló: `The injuries I picked up in the fall are behind me now and I will be at 100% in Catalunya,´ he adds. `I am back into my normal training routine at the moment, in the gym and on my bicycle. I would like to be at the front again at Montmeló. In fact, the track is quite similar to Mugello. The set-up of the bike is not so different although the suspension is very important because there are some bumpy sections, particularly at the end of the straight. It is a nice circuit with terrific fans. I have always been quick there in the practices but I haven´t really got a decent result to show for that yet. This could be my chance to change that´.

250cc, 2002, Roberto Locatelli, Marco Melandri

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