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KTM riders happy with Jerez one-two

KTM riders happy with Jerez one-two

Expected to challenge for the 250cc title this season, with last year's top three of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Alex de Angelis all moving up to MotoGP, factory KTM riders Mika Kallio and Hiroshi Aoyama got their 2008 off to a flying start last week in Jerez.

Expected to challenge for the 250cc title this season, with last year's top three of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Alex de Angelis all moving up to MotoGP, factory KTM riders Mika Kallio and Hiroshi Aoyama got their 2008 off to a flying start last week in Jerez.

The Finnish-Japanese connection were the fastest two riders on the final day of quarter litre class testing in Jerez, with Kallio laying down a marker of 1'43.303 at the Spanish circuit. Aoyama was just behind his team-mate on the timesheets with a lap just over two tenths of a second slower, establishing a small psychological advantage over the trailing riders.

The Austrian factory, who have expanded their 250cc line-up for 2008 with the supplying of machines to Repsol KTM's Julian Simon, are putting their efforts towards breaking the Honda-Aprilia dominance of the quarter litre class. Kallio and Aoyama have already shown themselves capable of beating their rivals in a race situation, and the former notes that they would perhaps have been able to make it a clean sweep over the first three days of 2008 testing.

"It's good to be in front of the Aprilias. We didn't push too hard on the first and second day, instead concentrating on going faster into the fast corners and making improvements on the suspension," said Kallio after the conclusion of the visit to Jerez.

Aoyama was one of the riders with the most laps on the board, on the final day undertaking a monstrous 79 on his way to the second fastest time. For the Japanese rider testing was as much about regaining fitness as making improvements to the machine.

"This was the first time back on the bike since my holiday in Japan so I had to get the feeling back on day one," explained Aoyama. "It was already better on the second day and the third day was good. We worked on the handling and we put in some good lap times."

250cc testing continues tomorrow in Spain, moving on to the Eastern circuit of Valencia.

Tags:
250cc, 2008, Mika Kallio, Hiroshi Aoyama, Red Bull KTM 250

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