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Chris Martin ready to kick-start season

Chris Martin ready to kick-start season

Chris Martin ready to kick-start season

Britain´s Chris Martin is preparing to start his first full season in the 125cc World Championship and revealed that he can´t wait for the racing to get underway at Suzuka next week. The 21 year old from York, who will be riding in the Aprilia team backed by Dutch international footballer Clarence Seedorf, has enjoyed contrasting fortunes during the preseason testing period and is hoping to get off to a solid start in Japan.

`I have had enough of testing now, I have put my racing head on,´ says Martin, who will pilot a 2003 version 125 RS. `I just want to get out to Suzuka, finish the race as high up as possible and get it out of the way. I am very much looking forward to the experience but it has been a long winter waiting for everything to start. You get a different feeling when you are preparing for a race than you do when preparing for a test, and I am definitely ready.´

Despite struggling to lap with the top riders during the key IRTA tests last month, Martin insists he has not been surprised by the quality of the field. `I am not surprised – I knew they would be very fast! Basically, like all the new Aprilias, we had a problem with the chassis cracking and had to send the bike back to be re-welded. We went to Mugello a few days ago and had the same problem on a different part of the chassis. Hopefully it will be resolved by the time we get to Suzuka.´

As well as the on-track demands of life as a GP racer, Martin also sampled some of the off-track glamour a few weeks ago when his team was presented in front of a host of celebrities in Madrid. `It was before the Real Madrid versus AC Milan Champions League game, so there were lots of stars there like Rivaldo,´ he explains. `We had to give lots of television interviews and there were so many photographers there. It was good fun, and we watched the game afterwards, although I have to confess I am a Manchester United fan really!´ Like most other racers yet to visit Suzuka, Martin already feels at ease with the demands of the track after exhausting the latest video games. `I have done so many laps there on the Playstation I feel like I have been there already! I even went down to my local arcade for a go on the old GP500 simulator – although I don´t think I´ll be able to match my times on the 125!´

Tags:
125cc, 2003

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