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Franco Battaini announces his jump into MotoGP with WCM

Franco Battaini announces his jump into MotoGP with WCM

Franco Battaini announces his jump into MotoGP with WCM

After eight years in the 250cc World Championship, Franco Battaini finally seems ready to make the move up to MotoGP in 2005 with a WCM saddle.

The experienced Italian rider has confirmed that negotiations with team director Peter Clifford are very advanced, and now only need the final stamp so that he can get his hands on one of the new Blata V6 prototypes and join his British team-mate James Ellison, who signed up with the squad in October.

`We have been negotiating with Peter (Clifford) for a while now and finally we have a contract that everybody is happy with, so I hope to be able to sign it shortly," revealed the 32 year old. "If nothing untoward happens with this last version then I think it should all be finished by next week´.

`For me 2005 will be a year of gaining experience because everything will be new,´explained the rider on the challenge ahead. `This is the fresh stimulation that I needed. I don't want another year being the top privateer in the 250s, which I have done on four occasions now and I think the time has arrived to take some new challenges. It is a big and important change and if I had not taken this chance there might not have been another opportunity to run in the premier class of the World Championships´.

`I am confident in the project, the bike is totally new and I am impatient to see its possibilities and potential´, added the rider from Brescia, who finished 10th in the 2004 standings steering an Aprilia for Campetella Racing.

Battaini will still have to wait a few weeks before swinging his leg over the V6: `The bike is flat-out in development at the moment but we are also depending on Dunlop, for confirmation of the tyres; I hope that by the end of January I will be able to climb on the bike and start to get a feel for it´.

Meanwhile the Italian will concentrate on his physical training – an aspect in which he has always taken special care – enduring lengthy sessions cycling, in the gym and ‘footing'. This also serves him well in preparation for one of his favourite annual competitions: the Brescia Marathon that takes place before the season every March.

MotoGP, 2004

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