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Alex Barros getting into the preseason rhythm

Alex Barros getting into the preseason rhythm

Alex Barros getting into the preseason rhythm

Alex Barros has admitted that he is feeling more and more comfortable with the Honda RC211V after improving his preseason pace in the latest HRC tests at Valencia. The Brazilian rider closed the gap to his impressive team-mate Nicky Hayden to just 0.3 seconds at the Spanish circuit, where Ducati pair Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss were also testing alongside the Suzuki and Proton KR teams. After a difficult winter recovering from the effects of a shoulder operation on an injury sustained in July last year, Barros revealed that he was happy with his progress on the World Championship winning bike.

"I'm happy with the shoulder – no problems and it seems to be recovering well," said Barros, who returns to Honda after a season with Yamaha. "After the high speed flowing tracks at Sepang and Phillip Island we've been getting the bike to work at a different circuit. We've made some changes to the gearbox and I'm really happy that the times are very similar to the times from the race that I won here in 2002. The rhythm was good and many of the laps were of constant pace to the race here.

"On the second day we tested a lot of different solutions on the bike and am very happy with the results over the weekend. I am adapting to the bike but I need to improve my riding now. I hadn't ridden for a long time but the lap times improve every time I'm out on the track.

"We are still not at 100% but I'm pleased we are on the schedule we set ourselves when we started testing this year. That is to take it steady with the bike and the shoulder in order to be at 100% for the first Grand Prix in South Africa. I'm travelling back to Brazil shortly and will return to Spain for the IRTA tests at the end of the month. We have one more test after that before the start of the season so we're quite happy at the moment."

You can hear more from Alex Barros by clicking the link to the right of this page or by accessing the interview section of the Bzone, where you can also watch action footage of the Brazilian and many of his MotoGP rivals during the extensive preseason tests.

MotoGP, 2003, Alex Barros

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