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Youichi Ui sets a new objective of reaching the podium in the latter half of the season

Youichi Ui sets a new objective of reaching the podium in the latter half of the season

Youichi Ui sets a new objective of reaching the podium in the latter half of the season

Before the start of the 2003 World Championship, Youichi Ui was looked upon as one of the favourites for the 125cc crown but, after nine Grand Prix, the weighty aspirations of the Japanese rider have been all but wiped out by some lacklustre results. Ui has been riding with serious intent race after race but the Aprilia, with which he set a succession of impressive times during pre-season tests, now does not seem to be fitting his needs. The experienced rider from Nipon tried to change the course of his season last Sunday at the Sachsenring but was again faced with adversity. Starting badly, he successfully fought his way up from 18th to 5th but then crashed due to a mechanical problem, and for the second consecutive race left the paddock Sunday night with zero points.

`Luckily I did not hurt myself in the crash, but from the grid I could feel that something was not quite right with the engine´, he explained. `For this reason I got away badly. From the first corner I did all I could to recover some positions and regain some ground on the leading groups, even though I was wearing out my tyres very quickly. Finally the problem with the carburettor caused me to crash. It is so disappointing to get far in the race and then fall with only four laps to go.´

Luck also deserted him at the race just prior to Germany at Donington. There he slipped off after a collision with the KTM of Arnaud Vincent. Despite an unexpected and unwanted Championship to-date, Ui is not defeated but now has accepted the fact that he has to realign his goals for the 2003 campaign: `We have changed various things in the configuration of the bike and, apart from the crash, the feeling of the settings in Germany were good. Now we visit some circuits that I really like, Brno, Estoril and Rio. I am going to work as hard as I can to get on the podium. We have seven races left and this is my objective.´ The rider, who represents the Italian Sterilgarda Racing squad, has so far taken best results of two fourth places and occupies ninth position overall in the standings with 64 points.

Tags:
125cc, 2003

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