Fabrizio Lai comments on his first test with the Gilera team
After negotiating his first World Championship season in the arms of the Semprucci Malaguti squad, Fabrizio Lai is now set for his second attempt at GP glory with new employers Gilera Racing. The Italian, who celebrates his 25th birthday in the next few days, had a difficult 2003 campaign; only scoring points at four races to classify 25th overall. Last week he embarked on his first test with the Gilera and relayed his impressions to motograndprix.com.
mgp.com: Fabrizio, How do you see your move to the Gilera team after only a year with the Malaguti?
FL: I think it is a decent jump. I wanted to get involved in a project that was a little bit bigger than last year and obviously my own personal goals have now gone up another level after this season.
mgp.com: This year, with Malaguti, the results have been a little disappointing…
FL: Yes, experience really counts for a lot in the World Championships and in the first year we did not really get the results we wanted, both through my inexperience and because of the new bike. I hope in this next stage of my career the results will arrive sooner than before; from the start of the year would be ideal. Gilera have won a world title and it is a good bike but there is still some work to be done of course.
mgp.com: After riding in Jerez what do you think of the bike and the new team?
FL: I have the impression that it is a good team. I started to get to know the mechanics and the engineers and I think everything is going to be OK. With regards to the bike, I still have not ridden it that much and only made relatively few kilometres in the two days of work. Initially it felt a little bit more difficult to ride, but when you get dialled-in and ‘feel' your way with it you begin to see its potential.
mgp.com: To be the official rider of the team that, as you have said, is a winner of the World Championship, does this put more pressure on you?
FL: No I am used to the pressure of racing at this level, for me the pressure is more of a motivational tool than a problem.
mgp.com: Have you worked out your goals for the next season?
F.L: Right now I still have not thought about the GPs for 2004. We will have to see how things go up to and including the first race and then work out what to aim for a little later in the season.