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Sebastian Porto hoping to continue form at Estoril

Sebastian Porto hoping to continue form at Estoril

Sebastian Porto hoping to continue form at Estoril

With many eyes focused on the two-way battle for the 250cc title between Marco Melandri and Fonsi Nieto, it is perhaps with a degree of discretion that Argentinean rider Sebastian Porto has established his credentials as one of the leading lights in the quarter-litre class. The quietly spoken Petronas Sprinta Yamaha TVK man has made notable progress throughout the 2002 season, peaking over the last three races with his 100th Grand Prix start and two consecutive podium finishes. Now the 23 year old has his sights set on a top five finish in the World Championship and a greater goal for 2003.

`Like any rider my ultimate goal is to ride in MotoGP and if that opportunity came up next season then fantastic,´ he admits. `For now though my concentration is fully focused on the current season and making the top five. I have a great team and we have worked very hard all season to be in this position. We have had some help from Yamaha but we are not a factory team and the engine is basically the same as the start of the season. If I stayed with this team in 250 next season with 100% factory support then I am sure we could be challenging for victories and the title.´

$$$ Third place at Sachsenring, followed up with second at Brno, were Porto´s first appearances on the podium and represented unquestionable career highlights. `I am in the best form of my career and that is reflected by the results, but I know I can get better. I have made continual progress and I think that will continue. I am in a very professional team and I believe we are capable of going on to great things. Hopefully our efforts this season do not go unnoticed and we can be in a strong position at the start of next season.´

The next step towards personal and collective objectives comes this weekend in Portugal, although Porto admits that a podium hat-trick will be a huge challenge at a tricky circuit. `Estoril has an extremely long straight and that is to our disadvantage. We are still conceding top speed to the Aprilias and the Hondas but we can make up for that at circuits like Donington or Sachsenring because we have an excellent chassis. At Estoril it will be tough but I am very motivated to be at the front again and pick up as many points as possible to consolidate my place in the top five.´

125cc, 2002

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