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Stoner and Locatelli in action at Jerez

Stoner and Locatelli in action at Jerez

Stoner and Locatelli in action at Jerez

Casey Stoner and Roberto Locatelli returned to the 250cc class at Jerez last week in their first test together as LCR Aprilia team-mates.

Stoner contested his first full season with the Italian factory in the quarter-litre class in 2002 before stepping down to the minor class in an attempt to win the title, first for Aprilia and then KTM.

However, after a season fraught by bad luck and injuries with the Austrian factory the 19 year old today returned to the team run by former rider Lucio Cecchinello at Jerez and was quickly back in the swing, lapping within two tenths of a second of Daijiro Kato's lap record as he clocked a best time of 1'44'526.

"I'm really happy to be back on a 250 and with Lucio's team," commented Stoner at the time. "It was a hard decision to leave KTM but I took it because I want to try and win races in this category. Today the only objective was to rack up as many kilometres as possible and get used to the bike again.

"I've been riding the 2004 bike and it's hard to compare it to what I rode in 2002 because I can barely remember! But I am really happy to be here and I'm confident I can achieve things with this team in 2005. I very much enjoyed my time at KTM and would like to thank everybody there and at Red Bull."

For Locatelli the three days in Jerez were an opportunity to reacquaint himself with the quarter-litre machine, having previously spent two spells in the 250cc class, firstly from 1995-96 and again from 2001-02, on a privateer Aprilia.

"I am back in the 250cc class but this time I'm sure that I have the necessary equipment to do well and be one of the frontrunners next season," said Locatelli, who was slightly slower than Stoner with a time of 1'44'979.

"These first tests in Jerez have been a case of re-adapting to the category because after riding a 125 for two seasons you need to get used to the weight and power of a 250. Both myself and the team are looking forward to the 2005 season."

Watch video footage of Stoner and Locatelli in action at Jerez by clicking on the links at the top of the page.

250cc, 2004, Casey Stoner, Roberto Locatelli

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