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Franco Battaini hoping to end unlucky run at home race

Franco Battaini hoping to end unlucky run at home race

Franco Battaini hoping to end unlucky run at home race

Franco Battaini arrives at Mugello this week with an extra motivation to succeed in the Gran Premio Cinzano d'Italia. In Battaini´s case, it is not only the extra motivation of riding in front of his home crowd that drives him on, but the determination to overcome an unlucky run of results which began at Jerez when a mechanical problem saw him drop back to eleventh place, and continued at Le Mans where he failed to score any points after crashing mid-race.

`I come here on the back of two races where luck has deserted me and now I am hopeful of a good result,´ said the 30 year old. `In Jerez I had a problem with the chain, and in France I made a mistake and paid for it with a crash. It was a shame because I finished on the podium in South Africa and was confident of a result in both these races´.

Battaini is optimistic for his home race and denies feeling any pressure. `My preparations are the same as for any other race, with the same mentality and routine, although it will dawn on me that I am racing at home when I go out onto the track on Friday and maybe then it will be more difficult to ignore the pressure.

`It is a complete circuit – fast, technical and beautiful,´ continues Battaini, who set pole position at Mugello last season. `In principal it is an ideal circuit for the Aprilias. In terms of rivals, there is no doubt that Toni Elías will be high on confidence after two straight wins, and both Poggiali and De Puniet are very fast. Personally, I just hope to finish on the podium – the higher the better´.

If that does not turn out to be the case, it won´t be due to a lack of physical preparation. Battaini has just competed in a triathlon near to the Iseo lake, finishing 32nd from a total of 300 entrants. `It wasn´t a bad result – maybe I should stick to it!´ joked the Italian.

250cc, 2003

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