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Poggiali eager to learn as he steps up to new category

Poggiali eager to learn as he steps up to new category

Poggiali eager to learn as he steps up to new category

Former 125cc World Champion Manuel Poggiali this weekend made his 250cc debut in private Aprilia factory tests at Jerez. The San Marino rider will take the place of Marco Melandri in last season´s title-winning team but he has signalled that his only intention this season is to learn as much as possible, and he even stuck a `driving school´ sign to his bike for the shakedown test.

`The most surprising thing was the power of the bike, without doubt,´ said Poggiali afterwards. `Obviously it is nothing like a 125. I actually thought I would notice the weight difference more, but it hasn´t worked out that way. I dedicated the weekend to adapting to the characteristics of the machine and began the process of learning what I have to do to be competitive at this level´.

Poggiali follows in the tyre tracks of former World Champions including Biaggi, Capirossi, Rossi and Melandri as he steps up to the number one quarter-litre Aprilia, and he admits his ultimate objective is to match their achievements. ´Of course I want to repeat what those riders have done and I am aware that my number one objective has to be the World Championship title. I am also aware, though, that it will take a lot of hard work to get there.´

Poggiali is realistic about his chances of success in his rookie season and refuses to put a time limit on his battle to reach the front of a talented young pack of riders. ´I don´t think you can say when you are going to be competitive and fighting for victories, you just have to try and get to the front as quickly as possible. Obviously I would love to be there from the start but I won´t be marking a date on the calendar to start winning. The most important thing is to improve every day and if we all push to the maximum the results will come naturally´.

250cc, 2003

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