Pasini not carried away by pre-season performances
Confirmed as one of the fastest rider of the pre-season, Mattia Pasini can set high aims for his second full season in the 125 World Championship. The 19 year-old from Rimini emerged as one of the hottest youngster of the minor class last year with Lucio Cecchinello's team.
In 2005, he will race under the Totti Top Sport colours alongside Spanish rookie Manuel Hernández and, he seems already happy with his new crew.
"The team is great. The people supporting me in the team gained my trust right from the start of our collaboration and that is very important. In our box, the mood is pretty cool and it's perfect to do a good work."
After a promising pre-season, many people consider Pasini as a serious title contender, but the Italian wants to remain realistic.
"As every rider, I race to win, but the results I achieved during the winter don't mean I'm a favourite. The tests went well and we got some good resultts, with a big improvement compared to last year's lap times."
"There's a big fuss about what happened lately, but it's always the same: when things are going well, you're the next big thing but if you have two poor races in a row, you don't exist any longer. Last year, I had the opportunity to gain a lot of experience, but I also made many mistakes and did some wrong choices. This year, things seems to go better, until now at least. The bike is quick and I already have a great feeling with it."
The 125 field changed a lot since last year as many riders moved up to the 250cc class, but Pasini believes it won't affect the level of the class. "There were a lot of changes but I believe it's due to the fact that the manufacturer prefer to rely on experienced riders and provide them the right material to develop their bikes. Anyway, I'm sure the level of the 125 class won't change: many left, but many arrived as well."
"In our sport, you often hear ‘the first will always be the first, and the last will always be the last', but the truth is that a rider grows up, matures and gains experience through a season, and I believe that everybody will have a chance to shine at some point of the Championship"
In 2005, the young Italian will be up against a former rival but also an old friend, Manuel Poggiali, who's back in the 125 after two seasons in the quarter litre class.
"We have been friends for many years, but as far as racing is concerned, it's just another rider. At the beginning of the year, we talked about our number plates for this season. Last year I had the 54 number, and as Manuel is back in the class, we could have fought to see who would keep it! But as I know this number is now part of his image – and we're talking about a doube World Champion – I didn't insisted too much to keep it."
After the official tests held over the past two weeks, Pasini thinks it's still too early to jump to any conclusion.
"We saw that two good riders like Poggiali and Nieto had some troubles, but which seem to come from their structure. There's no doubt they will be able to overcome such difficulties - they might not be at the front during the first two or three races, but we know they'll be strong later on. We will have to keep an eye on a few other riders from the very beginning of the season: Lüthi, Lai and also Simoncelli, who was the fastest during the winter testing. I believe the whole pack will be very quick during the first part of the season, and we shouldn't forget the KTM team, which seems to be ready to fight at the top."