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Pasini hopes to emulate rookie 250cc champions

Pasini hopes to emulate rookie 250cc champions

After taking victory on his 250cc race debut on Sunday Polaris World's Mattia Pasini joined an elite club of riders to mark their maiden quarter litre class appearances with wins – a feat achieved by Manuel Poggiali and Dani Pedrosa, who both went on to win the title in their rookie 250 seasons.

After taking victory on his 250cc race debut on Sunday Polaris World's Mattia Pasini joined an elite club of riders to mark their maiden quarter litre class appearances with wins – a feat achieved by Manuel Poggiali and Dani Pedrosa, who both went on to win the title in their rookie 250 seasons.

Manuel Poggiali arrived in the class in 2003, following two successful years in the 125cc class which saw him take the title in 2001 and finish runner-up the following season. On his 250cc debut the San Marino rider took maximum points at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, the first of four wins and ten podiums en route to the title.

The 2004 season saw Poggiali unsuccessfully defending his 250cc crown, with young Spaniard Pedrosa taking the category by storm as the 125cc World Champion. Pedrosa started the year with a win in South Africa and went on to utterly dominate the championship with seven victories and just three non-podium finishes.

With just one race gone Pasini has his work cut out to emulate such achievements, but he made the perfect start at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar – a relief after his frustrating start to the year in the 125cc class in 2007.

"It was a perfect weekend," said Pasini after his Qatar triumph. "The bike was competitive right up until the end of the race, although I was slightly struggling here and there. I could see that my pace was good and was getting better throughout the race, which was giving me more and more confidence.

"The bike was allowing me to ride as I wanted, but it's only the first race so I'll have to stay calm and focused, especially considering the bad luck I had last year."

The Italian also revealed that his first impressions of his Aprilia machinery in a race situation compared favourably to the bike he rode last season, explaining: "I feel more comfortable with the 250 than I did with the 125, as it's bigger which I think is better for me. This winter I've worked really hard and what more can I say? It's been perfect and I'm not thinking about anything else other than the next race. I just want to keep improving and adapting to the class."

Tags:
250cc, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Mattia Pasini, Polaris World, Polaris World

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