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Derbi get pre-season testing underway at Almería

Derbi get pre-season testing underway at Almería

Derbi get pre-season testing underway at Almería

The Caja Madrid Derbi Racing Team yesterday started their on-track work for the 2004 campaign at the Almería circuit, a test that also saw Italian Luigi Dall´Igna turn out as part of the technical crew for the first time. Jorge Lorenzo, who approaches his third season as part of the squad, notched the best time of the day (1´43. 0) in the first of three sessions the Spanish crew have lined up at the track based in the south.

The Majorcan dedicated his time to trying out various chassis and suspension components as well as refining the set-up of his machine. "I was really looking forward to starting the pre-season because I haven't been on a race bike for over two months. The racing department have been working hard since the end of the last World Championship and I am sure that this year we will be very competitive. Before the first Grand Prix we have time to try many new things and develop them in the right way," explained Lorenzo.

Angel Rodríguez, a new addition to the team after the retirement of Emilio Alzamora, focussed on honing an engine designed by the factory last year. The Spaniard clocked a quickest lap of 1'44.3 and showed that he was especially happy to begin work in his new role: "I tested the Derbi twice before, but this time I had a special feeling because now I am starting the racing season. After a long year outside of the GPs, I am eager to again to be a part of this world. The objective is to ride as many kilometres as possible before the first Grand Prix and to know the handling and reactions of the bike in order to really push it."

The Derbi duo shared the circuit with Gilera compatriots, Fabrizio Lai and Stefano Perugini. The two Italians –who both completed their first test with the team in poor conditions last December at Jerez - concentrated yesterday purely on basic modifications to their bikes. Lai took a 1' 44.1 while veteran Perugini finished activities with a 1'45.0.

As well as the sessions at Almeria –that end tomorrow- the team have further plans to test before the first Grand Prix of the MotoGP 2004 calendar, on 18th April at Welkom (South Africa):

17-18 Feb: Circuit Catalunya
27-28 Feb: Estoril (Portugal)
23-24 March: Test - Circuit Catalunya
27-28 March: Test - Jerez

125cc, 2003

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