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Fonsi Nieto: "I'm with this project because I know it can be a success"

Fonsi Nieto: 'I'm with this project because I know it can be a success'

Fonsi Nieto: "I'm with this project because I know it can be a success"

Fonsi Nieto starts the next 250cc World Championship determined to be amongst the candidates considered as favourites for the title. Denouncing the rumours that surfaced at the end of last season, that implied the Spaniard was keen to move up a class, he is set to begin his sixth campaign in the quarter-litre category and confirms aspirations to successfully complete a chapter of his career. After the two first tests of 2004, at Jerez and Valencia, Nieto relayed his impressions so far to What are your evaluation of the tests at Jerez and Valencia?

Fonsi Nieto: In Jerez things were not going that well, but we arrived there a little over three months since we had wheeled the bike out of the pits and it was fair to say that I was a bit rusty. Here (in Valencia) we have tested a mountain of things and I felt more comfortable. Every time I go out on the bike it is getting better and easier after not having ridden for so long. Now we are ready to try out the 2004 bike. I am happy; I'm gradually gaining the rhythm. This pre-season I have a lot of hard work ahead. Last year was a little disappointing and it is necessary to get our heads down to make sure it does not happen again.

Q: At the end of last season you were reported as saying that you fancied a move to MotoGP but finally you have stayed on the 250 with the same team. Are you content with your decision?

FN: Yes, the decision was mine and mine alone. This is a project that we have, together with Repsol, an honest belief we can take the title and we are all working towards that. It is something I know can happen and can be a success. My dream has always been to be a World Champion.

Q: You also said that last year's pre-season didn't go smoothly? How has it been so far

FN: We have just begun and already I've ridden faster than last year, including the best times set at the Grand Prix here. There is still so much we have to do, but like I said, I am happy.

Q: You have always said that the pre-season is so important if you want to go on and have a good Championship…

FN: Yeah, it's really important, but I am a rider who prefers the racing environment, I like to fight side by side and a competitive situation is always more beneficial. However it is very true that this kind of work is vital to a Championship campaign.

Q: What's the next stage of the plan?

FN: There is a load of testing coming up. For a start we have to try the new bike and see how it goes. Basically, it is all about set-up work, which is just as much a job for the rider as it is for the factory and team.

250cc, 2003, Pablo Nieto

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