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Roby Rolfo catches his breath before Brno

Roby Rolfo catches his breath before Brno

Roby Rolfo catches his breath before Brno

In Grand Prix racing, one of the key to the success is the balance of the rider/bike pair. This explains the importance of the winter testing as the riders have to lap hundreds of miles before finding the winning formula. This ´mandatory task´ could prove to be more complicated but isn´t impossible to complete, as it was demonstrated by Roberto Rolfo.

After a brilliant 2001 campaign aboard a privateer Aprilia, the Torino-born rider joined the Fortuna Gresini team to ride the Honda NSR250 of the World reigning Champion, Daijiro Kato. But the difference of weight between the Italian and the light-weight Japanese has been hampering his adaptation to his new bike. ´I inherited Kato´s bike, who is very different from me´ explains Rolfo. ´He´s smaller and he´s nearly 20 kilos lighter than me. So, we didn´t manage to get the bike suited to my style right from the beginning. Even after a lot work over the winter, with pretty good results, the bike was far from being ready. We didn´t manage to adapt it to my size and this meant we had to deal with more problems during the practice sessions of the first races´.

The Fortuna Gresini team eventually solved the problem : ´We found a solution in Welkom : I was comfortable with the bike and I could begin to do real work during the practice sessions. Then, we have been able to adapt the bike to the various track and most of all, to my style. Of course, those problems have been complicating the development of the bike. When we found a good base, we had to deal with the bike´s problems, as sometimes we have problems with the throttle´.

´This experience shared with the team can only prove to be positive´ he adds. ´I know the work the team did will bring the results. But when I think back to the races in Le Mans and at the Mugello, I´m a bit disappointed as I believed I could have taken a few more points. Back then, the bike wasn´t ready, and qualifying in eighth was already tough´.

As he´s now lying in the third position of the standings, Roberto Rolfo want to keep focussed on the second half of the season : ´I will try to have some rest, but I will think about the next race in Brno. I think I will rest but also train, do some cycling along my usual training´.

250cc, 2002

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