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Guidotti on Poggiali and preseason

Guidotti on Poggiali and preseason

Guidotti on Poggiali and preseason

Manuel Poggiali's crash in Estoril somewhat dampened the Estoril Test for the KTM team. However, team manager Francesco Guidotti still saw the three days of testing as a positive step forward. In the following interview he explains how Poggiali crashed, his present condition and the KTM team's goals for 2006.

How's Poggiali doing after the crash in Estoril?

Manuel is fine. The crash was quite hard, but all the medical analyses, the x-rays and the TAC have shown no trace of any trauma. He mainly suffered a shock and quite a hard body hit, but again there was no trace of any serious injury.

Can you give us any details about the crash?

We haven't had the chance to see what happened, and also Manuel cannot remember anything about it. People who saw it are talking about the bike hitting him. The telemetric data shows the crash happened in a part of the track that isn't very fast.

What about the tests, how are they going?

It was the first test we underwent this preseason, and the conditions didn't help us. Apart from the crash, things went quite smoothly though.

What are the main differences between the Aprilia and the KTM? You previously worked for Aprilia of course…

Technically the two bikes are very different, mainly because of the engine. Also Aprilia has 15 years of history in motorcycle racing, whilst KTM 250 is just a few months old. Talking about the way the two bikes act on the track…well that's something you should talk to the riders about probably!

Are there a lot of differences between this year's 250cc bike and the one used by Anthony West last season?

The bike hasn't been totally changed. Obviously we used the previous bike as a base to develop the new one, but everything is a development.

Have you already found the right set up for the bike, and did any big problems arise during these first days of testing?

The base set up is ok, at the moment. We haven't had any big problems. We'll see during the first races how things go. I think there's no other way than to be there, on the track, racing, to see how things really are.

What about Aoyama?

Estoril was the very first time on the KTM for Aoyama. Also he hadn't ridden since the Valencia GP back in 2005, so it was a new beginning for him, whilst Poggiali had already had the chance to test the bike in Almeria at the end of last year. I think Hiroshi was quite comfortable with the bike, obviously now it's just a matter of time and kilometres.

What about the decision to switch from three riders to two in 125cc?

Usually teams are comprised of two riders. Last year KTM had three riders in 125cc and one in 250cc. This year we choose to rearrange things and have two teams well balanced following the 'traditional' method of 2 riders per team. It's a matter of balance really. But we can't forget that we also have the Junior KTM Team. They're their own team, but they work quite closely in a parallel with the main teams.

Any goals for the season?

Sure. In 125cc the goal is the Championship. In 250 things are different, we cannot expect to start competitively straight away, competing with teams like Aprilia, with such a history in motorbike racing, when starting from scratch. This is why we really have no goals for 250cc, apart from trying to improve from one Grand Prix to the next.

250cc, 2006

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