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Porto fastest on first Valencia

Porto fastest on first Valencia

Porto fastest on first Valencia

Sebas Porto clocked the fastest lap at a sunny and fine Valencia circuit today as tests for Aprilia's 250cc riders continued apace. The stopwatch recording of 1min 36.20 would have placed the 25 year old on pole for the GP last November.

The Argentine is rapidly adjusting to the switch of machinery after riding a Honda throughout 2003 and was marginally quicker than World Champion Manuel Poggiali; the latter slipped off on the way to racking up 65 laps of the Spanish venue and was joined in the gravel trap by Hector Faubel and Dirk Heidolf, all three were unhurt.

Fonsi Nieto picked up the pace after some lacklustre speed shown recently at Jerez. The Spaniard lapped faster than his race time recorded at the final round of the '03 season held three months earlier at the same track and remarked that he felt much more comfortable on the bike, completing 91 circulations. Alex De Angelis, the 2003 125cc World Championship runner-up, was third fastest as he faces his debut season as a works rider in the quarter-litre category.

"I am delighted to be riding the 250," commented De Angelis. "The bike is much faster than what I am used to but I was physically too big for the 125 and to have full factory backing from Aprilia has made me very happy to take on this challenge. I do not really have any objectives for the season, I know Manuel won at his first attempt but to expect the same thing would be a hard goal to reach."

The Aprilia collective were using 2003 material and the Valencia outing should in principle represent the final tests with last year's bikes.

1. Sebastián Porto, 1.36.20, 50 laps
2. Manuel Poggiali, 1.36.70, 65 laps
3. Alex de Angelis, 1.36.89, 60 laps
4. Fonsi Nieto, 1.37.20, 91 laps
5. Héctor Faubel, 1.37.50, 44 laps
6. Dirk Heidolf, 1.40.60, 43 laps

250cc, 2003

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