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Cárdenas: Colombia's first ever Grand Prix contender

Cárdenas: Colombia's first ever Grand Prix contender

Cárdenas: Colombia's first ever Grand Prix contender

Martín Cárdenas will make history when he becomes the first ever Colombian rider to compete in a Grand Prix at the opening round of the 250cc season at Jerez on April 10th.

The 23 year old steps up to World Championship competition with Aprilia Germany in 2005 after a sparkling season in the Spanish Supersport series and already showed signs of promise in his debut test at Jerez last week.

"The bike is very different to any machine I had ridden before," commented Cárdenas. "I need a lot more laps on it but I met my own expectations on the bike. It's all new for me – not just the bike but the team. The way I have to ride and my position on the bike are also different, but it was a good start and I felt very comfortable with the team. Nobody speaks Spanish so I had to manage in English, but luckily I can speak it quite well.

"Every time I got on the bike I felt better. I started lapping in 1'54 and I finished the test with a best time of 1'47.7. Taking into account that I'd never tested the bike before I think it's a promising start and that was certainly the impression I got from the team.

"I spoke a lot with my new team-mate Chaz Davies and he was really helpful. He explained a lot of things about how to ride the bike… basically he answered anything I asked him. As far as the bike is concerned I got the impression that it was very competitive but, like I say, I've never ridden anything like it before so I can't compare it."

Aside from his admiration for his new team-mate, Cárdenas says he doesn't have an idol in MotoGP but recognizes the talents of fellow South Americans Alex Barros and Sebastián Porto.

"There's no rider I would really call an ‘idol'. Barros and Porto are both fantastic riders and they are a reference point for me because they are both from South America. Maybe Rossi... He's the best."

250cc, 2005

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