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Locatelli and KTM to miss February IRTA tests

Locatelli and KTM to miss February IRTA tests

Locatelli and KTM to miss February IRTA tests

Roberto Locatelli has confirmed that the KTM Red Bull team will not be present at the IRTA tests in Jerez and Estoril later this month. The former 125cc World Champion, who signed for KTM in December after agreeing to step down from the 250cc category, blames the absence of the brand new KTM machines at the official test on manufacturing delays at the Austrian factory.

`The project is suffering from a slight delay but we will make the time up,´ claimed the Italian. `I have spoken with the people in charge of development at the factory and they explained that the bike is at a very advanced stage but that it won´t quite be ready for the IRTA tests as planned. I was with them in December and saw what a great factory it is with so many people working on this project. They had all the most important components ready, from the chassis to the forks. The engine had been run on a dyno and they had data on its power curve. Now they are putting it all together and I think it will be ready to test in the first week of March. Then we will see if it moves or not!´

Locatelli is looking forward to beginning life with his new team and insists that he is not worried by the delays. `I am not nervous. I have been racing for 15 years now and I am wise. A delay of 15 to 20 days is completely normal with such a new bike and it will not affect the season, although I am aware that we will have less time to fix any problems that do arise once the bike is out on the track´.

Meanwhile, Locatelli is training hard at home in Monte Carlo to meet the demands of the smaller machine. `I am making the most of the time to train hard and lose weight,´ he says. `I already lost four kilos which I did not need to carry around on a 125!´.

125cc, 2003, Roberto Locatelli

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