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Campetella fighting the privateer battle

Campetella fighting the privateer battle

Campetella fighting the privateer battle

The Campetella team has been one of the leading forces in the 250cc category through recent years, battling against intense factory competition and establishing themselves as the top privateer team with a series of podiums last season.

However, results were always going to be harder to come by in 2004, with Honda boosting their official representation to four riders and Aprilia providing factory support to a further five.

Matters became even more complicated just before the start of the season, when an attempt by Campetella to run two teams on kitted Aprilia machinery fell through, leaving them with three contracted riders in the shape of new recruit Joan Olivé, who had been signed up to run alongside Sylvain Guintoli, and Franco Battaini, who was effectively left without a ride.

Eros Braconi, one of the team's owners, explained the situation to and discussed the progress of the team so far in the face of such strong factory opposition.

"Basically we began this year with the idea of having two teams, with four riders in total," explains Braconi. "Then it became difficult to do it because of sponsor commitments and to get the team up and running.

"So then we had conformed ourselves basically to the fact that whatever happened Franco would be in the other team, but we didn't want to leave him hanging on and we set up a team with three riders so that he could ride.

"It's clear that this year, with a lot more factory bikes, it's difficult to be as competitive as last year. Whatever, we're still doing times which are more or less better than last year and the results might not show this as much. We hope that in the rest of the season we can at least do a little bit better.

"It's satisfying the work we have done over the years, and we haven't been in the championship for too many years, we've done some good things with a small, family team, and we all work hard together to get the best out of our riders. We're all together like a family and very united, that's our main objective.

"Clearly Franco's role is very important for us as we help two young riders. Look at last year, Guintoli returned to competition after a year out, and he did a great season, and went especially well in the last races.

"Then we look at Olivé this year - he's doing well considering the factory bikes there are with top riders on them. With a kit bike, they're suffering, but they're there, very close, because Franco's experience helps them set-up the bike and perhaps spurs them on to do better. They push as hard as they can despite the situation."

250cc, 2004, Campetella Racing

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