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West out for improvement in 250cc

West out for improvement in 250cc

West out for improvement in 250cc

One of the 250cc class' top privateers, Anthony West has been plagued by bad luck in the first two races of the season. The Australian rider is working closely with his team ahead of his debut at the Istanbul Circuit, looking to regain ground in the quarter litre championship. You have been quite vocal about having problems with the non-factory bike set-up, can you explain the main difficulties encountered?

The first two races haven't gone as well as we had hoped for. In Jerez I had to stop after a spark plug broke, and in Qatar I had gearbox problems. My results so far have got nothing to do with having a non-factory bike - reliability has been the main issue. My team is working hard and doing the best job they can, but this is their first season with an Aprilia, which is a lot different to the Hondas they prepared in past years.

Despite this, do you still believe you can have a good season?

Hopefully my results will improve from now on. The most important thing is to be able to finish races. I'm confident I can run in the top 10 consistently if I can finish. I've won a grand prix and finished on the podium as a privateer in past seasons so I know what I can do. The biggest advantage the factory bikes have is acceleration and better tyres. If we get some wet races the factory bikes won't have such a big advantage and I know I can run with them in those conditions.

There has been talk that some riders, e.g. Jakub Smrz, are riding a bike very similar to that which you were to ride this season. Seeing their strong results, does this give you someone to compare your performance to or is it simply a frustration?

As far as I'm aware Jakub Smrz is riding an ex-factory bike. I'm a privateer, so I can't compare myself with him (Smrz). For me it is frustrating not to have an official bike, but I don't so I have to ride the wheels off what I've got and do the best I can.

The Turkish Grand Prix is fast approaching. What do you expect from the third race of the season?

I've never been to Turkey before and I've never seen the track, so everything will be new for me and many other riders. In those situations I have a routine which I follow. I will do some laps on a scooter, or run around the track the day before practice starts and check the surface for bumps. I will also check all the kerbs to see if you can ride over them.

250cc, 2006, Anthony West

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