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Mixed feelings for Arnaud Vincent after Assen

Mixed feelings for Arnaud Vincent after Assen

Mixed feelings for Arnaud Vincent after Assen

After his sensational start to the year, which included a victory and two second places from the first three races, Arnaud Vincent was forced to concede the championship lead to Manuel Poggiali. Now, after a debut victory for Dani Pedrosa at Assen, he finds himself down in third place. However, despite his drop in results, the Frenchman insists he has maintained his level of performance and claims that his efforts have not been rewarded due to a catalogue of technical problems.

The Gauloises Dutch TT saw the Nancy rider return to the lead group, narrowly missing the podium after finishing fourth by 0.097 seconds from Joan Olivé. Having started from fifth place on the grid but dropping to twelfth after a bad start, the result represented a significant comeback for Vincent. `It was difficult to recover ground because of the problems with my engine,´ he explains. `Eventually I worked out how to maximise use of the throttle which I couldn´t open past 90%´.$$$

The Aprilia rider left Assen with mixed feelings – happy that he was showing his best form but disappointed his team have not yet solved the technical difficulties. `We have to improve the acceleration. In the last two races I have had problems. On Saturday the bike was never at its full potential but I hope that is behind us now. In any case I am still satisfied because I know that without this problem I could have finished second. I know that I am fast and that I am as good as Poggiali, if not better´.

Vincent now trails the World Champion by 28 points but he is adamant that he can still have the last word. `If we can improve this engine then I am not scared of Poggiali or Pedrosa. There is plenty left of this season and the title is still up for grabs as long as you don´t fall asleep – and I do not intend to!

125cc, 2002

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