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Sebastián Porto returns from Argentina ready for the new season

Sebastián Porto returns from Argentina ready for the new season

Sebastián Porto returns from Argentina ready for the new season

Sebastián Porto has arrived back in Europe from Argentina to start work with the 2004 Aprilia machine at the official 250cc test that begins tomorrow at Catalunya. Porto this year assumes the role of works rider with the Repsol Aspar Team and just before the first outing with his new motorcycle expressed his pleasure at being associated as one of the small group of favourites tipped for '04 success.

"Never before have I had an opportunity like this," the Argentine explained. "I can count on my mechanics from last year because they have slotted into the Jorge Martínez `Aspar´ team, and this is an advantage because we all know each other. Together we gave everything testing the 2003 Aprilia, a really competitive bike with which I have no doubts. The question was whether I would immediately adapt to the machine and it is true that I had to change a little bit the way I ride; I noticed it more in the braking and the way I had to tackle the corners".

Before traveling to Spain, Porto spent some time with the Sporting secretary of Argentina, Ex-footballer Roberto Perfumo, an outstanding defender who played in the World Cups in England (1966) and Germany (1974), who gave his total support to the rider for the forthcoming season. Porto is very conscious about the tricky challenge that lies ahead: "This season there will not be just one candidate for the Championship. The top riders are experienced, with two or three years in the class and there will be more factory bikes as much with Aprilia as there will be with Honda," he continued. "In Argentina I have worked extensively on my physical preparation, without a good shape there is no way I could confront the coming season, especially in a year where the possibilities to win the title will be totally in the hands of the riders".

Regarding the official test at Barcelona that will supposedly see that appearance of the new bike, he remarked: "At these tests the lap-times will not be the most important thing. The priority will be to test the 2004 bike and make comparisons with the data and conclusions from our previous work. The key is to start the season knowing the motorcycle inside-out. This will not be like the weekend of a race".

250cc, 2004

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