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Porto reflects on positive Jerez test

Porto reflects on positive Jerez test

Porto reflects on positive Jerez test

After the three-day test at the Jerez circuit which allowed him to get to know Alberto Puig's Honda HRC team for whom he will compete in next season's 250cc World Championship, Sebastian Porto spoke of his optimism and excitement at the new project to which he has committed himself.

Despite his great experience on the World Championship scene which has seen him rack up 155 GP starts, the Argentine conceded he was slightly nervous ahead of his first outing with his new team. However, he was considerably more relaxed after the test and admitted his new bike was even better than he had hoped it would be.

"My first impressions are good," he stated. "The Honda is a very agile bike and suits my riding style very well. It's a more manageable bike than the Aprilia. This bike is similar to the one I used in 2003 but with significant improvements to the engine. It has taken a major step forward. It's small but comfortable and the engine is very consistent – it's better than I had hoped."

The bike that Porto rode at the test was the one used by Hiroshi Aoyama in last season's championship, even though it had been specially adapted to suit the Japanese rider. But it was not only the bike that impressed Porto with the South American also paying tribute to the staff that now surround him.

"I have found a very happy group here. They really know their stuff, are quick workers and have great experience with the Honda. They are professional and also very good people," he added.

At one stage it seemed that bad weather would disrupt the test in southern Spain, but conditions improved allowing the former Aprilia Aspar rider to get in some important work. Indeed, Porto believes the time spent in Jerez will save him valuable time in the New Year.

"You can't make any comparison between the track now and the GP we had here in April," he said in reference to the adverse conditions they had experienced at Jerez. "We did not come here to try and break any records. The test was important to collect data that we could then pass on to the Honda factory to try and help improve the bike. After the break at the end of January it's possible that all the data we provided will have been integrated into the 2006 machine. For me it was important to do these tests now as it saves us almost a month."

"There is still a lot to do. I would say we are at about 60 percent at the minute. I need to get to know the limits of the bike and complete my adaptation to this new machine."

Porto went to work at Jerez without his new team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama and instead shared the track with Andrea Dovizioso who spent two days at the circuit testing with the Honda Scott team. Porto went faster than the Italian on both days and took that to be another very positive sign.

"It's a good thing because he has spent a year riding this bike," added the South American. "But it's just another piece of data and these are only tests."

250cc, 2005

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