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Ambition still intact as Cecchinello enters tenth season

Ambition still intact as Cecchinello enters tenth season

Ambition still intact as Cecchinello enters tenth season

At 32 years of age, Lucio Cecchinello is preparing to enter his tenth season in the 125cc World Championship. Since making his debut at the Australian GP back in 1993, the Italian has built up one of the most genuine reputations in the paddock, although he has yet to achieve his goal of becoming World Champion. After deciding to manage his own team a couple of seasons ago, Cecchinello has been constantly linked with a permanent move away from the saddle, but in 2003 he will be back, riding the latest evolution 125 machine with Australian sensation Casey Stoner as his latest sidekick.

`This season our objective in 125 is to be one of the leading teams´, explains Cecchinello. `Last year I won three Grand Prix, and in 2003 I would like to improve. I´m not talking about winning the title, but to be at the front, with Casey, winning races and improving my position from recent years. I have been fourth for the last two years and this year I want to be higher – if possible at the very top´.

Asked about his motivation to continue riding, Cecchinello responds: `There is no secret weapon. I like to have a good rest at the end of the season, just in case. I have just come back from the Maldives, and I feel completely renewed, although I don´t often go on `hammock holidays´. I like to do lots of exercise and I have been swimming and to the gym every day´.

With the holiday period out of the way, the rider-manager is looking forward to cracking on with the team´s preseason schedule. `This week we will be down in Jerez, on the 17th, 18th and 19th, and both Casey and I will have our first contact with the bikes. Casey will be riding my bike from last year, and I will have the latest evolution 2003 model from Aprilia. I will be the only person riding it at Jerez, because the factory were keen for me to test it before giving it to the other teams. Hopefully we will have good weather down there, and then perhaps we will go to Valencia and share the track with Jorge Martínez `Aspar´ before the IRTA tests´.

125cc, 2002

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