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Matsudo hoping for another winning chance

Matsudo hoping for another winning chance

Matsudo hoping for another winning chance

Naoki Matsudo came as close to victory in Estoril last weekend as he ever had in his Grand Prix career. The Japanese rider led the way during the majority of the 250cc Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal, but crashed out for the first time in twenty races to end an incredible points scoring run and lose any hope of a maiden win.

´I like riding in the wet and it was an opportunity for me to compensate for the extra power of the Aprilias,´ explains the Dark Dog Yamaha Kurz rider. `In the warm-up I had no grip so we completely changed the set-up for the race. The result was very positive and I realised straight away that I felt comfortable and could ride fast without taking risks. I saw that Fonsi was starting to get close so I decided to step up the pace a little, but I went through a puddle and couldn´t avoid the fall.´

In his rookie season two years ago Matsudo missed out on the points on just four occasions, and last season he crashed just twice. This year he is determined to improve on that statistic whilst fighting to finish in the top positions. ´At the moment I can´t ask for any more. So far I have preferred not to risk myself too much to make sure I pick up points, but now I want to fight to always be in the lead group and try and get on that podium.´

250cc, 2002

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