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Laconi hoping for light at the end of the tunnel at Estoril

Laconi hoping for light at the end of the tunnel at Estoril

Laconi hoping for light at the end of the tunnel at Estoril

After an excellent start to the season, with six consecutive points-scoring finishes, the development of the Aprilia RS3 has dipped since the Gran Premio Marlboro de Catalunya. Without a point from the last four races, Regis Laconi has slipped down the MotoGP ranking. The Noale factory are struggling to find the answers for their youngest creation, but the Frenchman is confident that hard work will provide the key.

´We´ve been struggling for the last couple of Grands Prix,´ explains Laconi, who guided his four stroke machine to 16th place in Brno. `Even before the summer break, we were suffering from the lack of grip, and in Brno we had serious problems with the front tyre - on the side, on full throttle or on braking, the bike was really unstable - it really was a pain´.

Despite the recent problems, Laconi is quick to point out the progress the team has made in other areas. ´We keep improving, slowly,´ he continues. `Since Brno we have a new clutch, which helps me at the start, but the main improvement is the new engine brake system, which proves to be crucial on braking. There´s still a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do if we want to improve, but that is precisely what Aprilia is doing´.

The development of a new machine can at times be a slow and thankless task, but Laconi believes that patience will be rewarded in the end. ´Of course, it would be better to be competitive from the start, but we knew exactly what to expect as the bike was only ready at the end of January. We may not be always headed in the right direction. The bike is still pretty young, and I´m the only rider working on its development, to increase its mileage. We must remain patient before seeing our efforts rewarded´.

MotoGP, 2002

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