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Poggiali impresses as Nieto and Elías focus on set-up

Poggiali impresses as Nieto and Elías focus on set-up

Poggiali impresses as Nieto and Elías focus on set-up

Former 125cc World Champion Manuel Poggiali is already making a serious impact in the 250cc class after stepping up to the quarter-litre Aprilia in style this preseason. The youngster from San Marino has just completed two days of testing alongside his factory colleagues at Valencia and scorched to the quickest time, lapping just two tenths slower than the 1´35.8 pole time set by Marco Melandri at the final Grand Prix of the 2002 season.

Title favourites Fonsi Nieto and Toni Elías were left trailing in the rookie´s wake, but insisted they were concentrating on set-up work in what was their first test of 2003. `The times on the last day weren´t great, we have not gone very fast, but I think we have done a good job,´ said Nieto. `We have got through a pile of work and we knew this would take time. I am still not comfortable with the new chassis but the positive thing is that we have found the right direction to work in´.

$$$ Elías, however, could not echo his team-mate's satisfaction. `I am not happy with how these tests have gone although I am aware that we have just started and we have many kilometres to get through. We have to work hard to get things in their place as soon as possible and once that is done we can start to look at setting fast times´.

Unofficial lap times:

Manuel Poggiali 1´36.0, Randy De Puniet 1´36.5, Franco Battaini 1´37.4, Joan Olivé 1´37.6, Héctor Faubel 1´38.0,Toni Elías 1´38.2, Fonsi Nieto 1´38.5, Erwan Nigon 1´38.8., Hugo Marchand 1´38.9, Sylvain Guintoli 1´39.4.

250cc, 2003, Pablo Nieto

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