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Lucchi returns to action

Lucchi returns to action

Lucchi returns to action

Marcellino Lucchi returned to 250cc World Championship action this morning at the ripe old age of 47 in the first free practice for the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The experienced Italian is stepping in for Manuel Poggiali at Aprilia this weekend, with the injured World Champion expected to be fit for the next round of the season in Australia.

Lucchi is no stranger to the Grand Prix scene and in several wildcard appearances for Aprilia he has claimed five podiums, including victory at the 1998 Italian Grand Prix.

In his long-standing role as test and development rider Lucchi has played a key role behind-the-scenes in helping the Noale manufacturer win five out of the last nine constructor titles in the 250cc class.

"You could say it's a return to the past," said the veteran after this morning's first free practice session. "Firstly it's not easy to come back into this category but I am satisfied with the first day, just learning about the mechanics of the bike and how to ride it.

"I don't even feel the years – in my head I'm still like a 20 year old. All I think about when I get on the bike is how I can go faster, I don't think about whether or not my rivals are younger or older than me. Well, for them to be older would be impossible… but maybe younger! The only thing I think about is gassing it and having fun.

"The level of competition in the 250cc class has gone back to being very high again. Hopefully in the race I can get a good result for me. I don't know if a good result will be tenth or fifth, but I am going to do my best and we'll see what happens."

Tags:
250cc, 2004, MARLBORO MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

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