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Di Meglio looks ahead to big challenges in 2009

Di Meglio looks ahead to big challenges in 2009

The 125cc World Champion Mike di Meglio talks about his first experiences with the Mapfre Aspar Aprilia 250cc machine and reveals his hopes for the 2009 season.

Frenchman Mike di Meglio made a good start to his 250cc career last week in Valencia with his first laps on the quarter litre capacity Aprilia with which he will compete for Mapfre Aspar next season. Alongside his new teammate - one of the favourites for the title next year – Alvaro Bautista, Di Meglio demonstrated good pace right from the start of the two day test and quickly adapted to the characteristics of his new race prototype.

In this interview courtesy of the Aspar team, the 20 year-old from Toulouse gives his first impressions on his new bike and talks about his hopes for his debut 250cc campaign.

Q. `How did it go with your new 250cc on your debut with the team?´
A. `It was a bit weird right at the start because I´d never ridden a 250 before and when I was on the brakes I could feel the front end moving around a lot. It was very different to a 125cc. In the first few laps I was braking really late and I couldn´t keep it on the right line, because it was thinking about the way to ride a 125cc. So I tried to relax and work out what I needed to do to put the bike where I wanted it to go. I picked up the feeling as I went along, learning about the behaviour of the bike and bit by bit the lap times were improving.´

Q. `What are the biggest differences between riding a 125cc and a 250cc?´
A. `Well, the power of course and then all the things which come along with that. From my point of view a 250cc moves around a lot more than a 125cc so it is crucial to feel comfortable with the tyres, the chassis and the suspension. On the other hand you can´t brake too heavily and you can´t take the corners too fast. Braking is a key thing, that´s where you notice a huge difference between the two categories.´

Q. `What tricks are there for adapting to the bigger bikes quickly?´
A. `I think it is crucial to try and anticipate how the bike will behave and think about how you´ll deal with it. I just tried to get used to the feeling of going into corners slowly, letting the bike do the work and then go as fast as possible on corner exit.´

Q. `What was it like working with your new team?´
A. `It was the first time we had got together and it was awesome. I wanted to be completely open and get to know everyone as quickly as possible, so that we could all get on well straight away and I think we managed that. In order to improve I want a good feeling with the team, I´m really happy about this new experience and I don´t think it could have been any better so far. The level of professionalism in the team and their ability to work on things together was really clear.´

Q. `What are your aims and objectives next season?´
A. `It is quite early to be setting specific objectives, but I think finishing in the top ten would be a good debut. I´d like to cause a surprise and be towards the front in a race. But I´m not going to worry about that too much at the moment, I think if we work hard as a team the results will come.´

250cc, 2008, Mike Di Meglio

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