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Yamaha Kurz ready for Barcelona after Hockenheim shakedown

Yamaha Kurz ready for Barcelona after Hockenheim shakedown

Yamaha Kurz ready for Barcelona after Hockenheim shakedown

Preparations for their ninth season in the 250cc World Championship have been busier than ever for the Yamaha Kurz team, who were at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany for a shakedown test earlier this week on the back of a series of wind tunnel experiments at the IAT University of Stuttgart. The team are hoping adjustments to the aerodynamics of the TZ will squeeze out an extra 10km/h alone, whilst factory support from Yamaha should give them an extra competitive edge as they line up promising French youngster Erwan Nigon alongside the experienced Naoki Matsudo.

Japanese veteran Matsudo clinched the team's best ever championship finish with ninth place last season and commented that they are shaping up to improve on that this time around. "Hockenheim was my first preseason test and the first time in three years that I have been able to get some laps in before the start of the season so obviously we are all very happy," commented Matsudo. "We had planned to test at on the 8th March but were forced to cancel because of the bad weather so it was good to be able to get out on the track and run up some laps. It was only a shakedown session but it has enabled us to plan our work for the upcoming tests at Barcelona and Jerez."

Yamaha Kurz are hoping to have a new version of the TZ 250 at the first Official Test at Barcelona on the 24th March, and Matsudo admitted that he can't wait to get started. "The new bike is at the development stage and I am anxious to try it out. This season I will have two bikes and this is also very important for me – last year I had no back-up and that made the situation quite precarious. At Hockenheim we used the old bike, which I hadn't ridden for over four months, but I felt comfortable, I completed 82 laps and everything went well. Now we will have to wait and see what level my rivals are at – although I hear they have been enjoying some quite good testing sessions!"

250cc, 2004

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