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Cecchinello tasting the sweet and sour sides of racing

Cecchinello tasting the sweet and sour sides of racing

Cecchinello tasting the sweet and sour sides of racing

Lucio Cecchinello had plenty to think about in the wake of the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky. The rider and team owner of the Safilo Oxydo Race squad took his third victory of the season in the 125 class, where his young protégé Alex de Angelis had set pole position. His other young promise, Casey Stoner, was sensational in the 250 race, charging through the field to finish fifth after starting from 20th on the grid. The friendly Italian was understandably happy to talk.

´I was very happy with last weekend, but at the same time a little disappointed,´ he explained. `I like the Aprilia so much – I just wish I had used it in 96-97 when I formed my team! I can´t help but regret that fact after seeing the way this season has gone and experiencing the interest and collaboration which has borne such fruit.´

Cecchinello´s mixed feelings extend beyond his choice of motorcycle, as he reflects on his personal results this season. `Again, I am happy but a little bit disappointed. I´m talking about races such as Welkom, Donington and Sachsenring when I finished up on the floor. Three crashes in ten races which haven´t been my fault – they have come from skirmishes with other riders, mechanical problems or just bad luck. Now, when I am most motivated, I am short of the points I realistically need to be involved in the fight for the title´.

So what about the first career pole position for Alex de Angelis? Few doubt the influence Cecchinello has had on the youngster off the track, and at Brno it was the canny veteran who led the San Marino youngster round for his pole lap. `I am very satisfied with Alex, because he is the future. I would never want to be the only competitive rider in the team, but I must say Alex´s progress has been surprising. After three years in the World Championship he has established himself amongst the top riders in the category. The session last Saturday showed that the bike and the rider are both important elements – confidence in yourself and those around you is of fundamental importance to good results on the track´.

125cc, 2002

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