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KTM take first step in MotoGP adventure at Suzuka

KTM take first step in MotoGP adventure at Suzuka

KTM take first step in MotoGP adventure at Suzuka

KTM officially unveiled their machine and rider line-up at Suzuka today, with 125cc World Champion Arnaud Vincent pulling back the dust sheets from the bike he will use to defend the number one plate in 2003. Former title holder Roberto Locatelli sat proudly alongside his new colleague and their team of top class engineers which features, amongst others, Harald Bartol - the man formerly behind the Yamaha and Derbi 125cc efforts - and Warren Willing, who last year worked extensively on the Suzuki GSV-R four-stroke MotoGP project.

The Austrian factory plan to have their own MotoGP four-stroke on the racetrack by 2005, but for now their objectives lay firmly in the 125 class. `Our first target is to finish the race here at Suzuka,´ said Bartol. `So far we have not done enough testing, we need more time to find the right set-ups. The only circuit we have tested at where we could make comparisons was Valencia, so it will be interesting to see how we go here.´

Whilst Bartol added that he though it was too soon to realistically defend Vincent´s title, he stressed the Frenchman´s desire to ride for KTM and insisted they would be looking to top the podium before the halfway point of the season. `We needed experienced riders to develop the bike and we have two of the best – they were both very keen to ride for us. It will be difficult to do anything in these overseas races but by the time we get to Jerez we should be nearing 100% and getting ready to fight for victories. To have a chance for the championship you need to be competitive from the first race and I can't guarantee this. We will have to wait and see what happens on Friday and then we will know exactly where we are.´

125cc, 2003, SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan

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