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Sito Pons says an emotional farewell to Alex Barros

Sito Pons says an emotional farewell to Alex Barros

Sito Pons says an emotional farewell to Alex Barros

West Honda Pons Team Owner Sito Pons has said an emotional farewell to Alex Barros after the Brazilian announced that he will not be riding with the team in the 2003 MotoGP World Championship season. The 32 year-old Brazilian has decided to start a new chapter in his racing career with Yamaha, after eight years with Honda and four with West Honda Pons. Alex joined the team managed by the former World Champion for the start of the 1999 season and made 64 appearances, winning five races, scoring 13 podiums and clocking four pole positions.

`This has been a truly emotional weekend for our team,´ reflected Pons, after seeing Barros win the final race of the 2002 season at Valencia. `Firstly the joy after the marvellous race on Sunday with the result in the balance right up to the final corner, and now sadness with the emotional farewell to Alex. Throughout his career Alex has demonstrated that he is a true professional. He is a fantastic rider who, like a good wine, seems to have improved with age. I, like many others, believe that the outcome of this year´s championship may have been very different had Alex been given the opportunity to ride the RC211V earlier in the season. We will obviously remember him for his many successes with our team on the track, but perhaps more so for his kindness, humility and generosity off track. $$$ It has truly been a pleasure to work with him over the years and he has been like one of the family for us. On behalf of all the West Honda Pons team I would like to say a big thank you to Alex for everything he has done for the team over the years and I wish him, his wife Patricia and his children all the best in the future.´

Barros, the most experienced rider in the MotoGP paddock with 210 Grand Prix appearances in a career spanning 16 years in the top flight of racing with Cagiva, Suzuki and Honda, added: `It has been a matter of great pride for me to be part of the Honda family and part of the West Honda Pons team. I am extremely grateful to Sito for all he has done for me. He has been like a father to me and has helped me mature both as a rider and as a person. It is a great shame that our paths must now separate, but life goes on and new challenges emerge. I wish the very best for Sito and his team. It is a hugely professional and determined team which has shown its true potential with the victories this season. For sure, Honda has given me a fantastic bike, but I could not have achieved the results I have this season had it not been for the magnificent work done by the team. They have constantly supported me through good and bad times and I shall miss them greatly.

MotoGP, 2002, Alex Barros

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