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Porto primed for championship assault

Porto primed for championship assault

Porto primed for championship assault

Sebastian Porto is in prime position for a tilt at the 250cc World Championship crown after capping an impressive preseason with the fastest time on both days of Aprilia tests at Mugello last Friday. The Argentinean, who is preparing for his first full season with the Italian factory, lapped in pole time at the Tuscan track, clocking 1'53.5 to top the time sheets on the final day, almost two seconds quicker than his team-mate Fonsi Nieto.

With the machine now on its way to Welkom in South Africa, venue of the opening round of the 2004 season next week, Porto admitted he was delighted with the work they had completed and was ready to go racing.

"I was really happy with the way the tests went at Mugello," commented Porto. "The 2004 bike has responded really well and that can be seen in the times that I was able to set. On the final day I worked with the two bikes and made some good changes to the engine which improved their performance from the first day.

"We also did a race simulation and I set a constant rhythm as well as dropping my best lap time from the first day by seven tenths of a second. I am especially pleased because Mugello is one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar but the bike performed well throughout the test, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into the new season because I know we are on the right track.

"The first race at Welkom will be tough because we haven't completed a single lap with this bike there, but we have enjoyed a good preseason, I have adapted to the Aprilia quickly and I am now looking forward to getting into a race situation again and seeing just how competitive we really are."

250cc, 2004

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