Ui marks unhappy Gilera debut while Bianco notches first points

Tuesday, 9 September 2003

Ui marks unhappy Gilera debut while Bianco notches first points

It was an unfortunate debut for Youichi Ui on the Gilera, who crashed on the first lap of the Portugal Grand Prix and was unable to make it back for the restart. Taken to the Clinica Mobile, suffering from a slight concussion, Ui could not assume his position on the starting grid for the second version of the 125cc race. Meanwhile team-mate Stefano Bianco, lasted the distance and earned the first World Championship points of the 2003 season for the Metis Gilera Racing Team.

"The set-up on the bike was not perfect but I still tried to attack the first lap in an effort to stay with the leaders," remarked 30 year old Ui. "For this reason I crashed. I am OK, but I feel bad for the team and mechanics who all worked very hard. I hope we will do better in Brazil where I will know the Gilera much better."

Some consolation for the team lay with the efforts of young Bianco, who had yet to finish a GP this season in the top fifthteen, but finally managed the feat last weekend. The 17 year old crashed during free practice on Friday and again on the Saturday but Sunday he was able to secure his best result of 2003 with 14th place and what had previously been elusive Championship points.

"This are my first points of the season and this is reason enough to be happy, also for the mechanics, who have done some great work over the weekend," he reflected. "I want to give them my heartfelt thanks. At this moment I am satisfied and I hope this is the start of a good season finale."

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