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Canepa: “Capirossi told me to follow him”

Canepa: “Capirossi told me to follow him”

MotoGP rookie receives on-track guidance from experienced rival.

The youngest rider on the MotoGP grid was lent a helping hand by the oldest at the first test of 2009, as premier class rookie Niccolo Canepa received some helpful hints from veteran Loris Capirossi. Struggling to lower his times on the final day of riding in Sepang, Canepa found a willing guide to the Malaysian track in the form of his fellow Italian.

“I was looking around to see who could help me to ride faster, and Loris has always been the most generous in this way. He signaled to me to ride behind him, and it was a great help,” says the debutant, who rides for Pramac Racing this year after a season testing with Ducati.

Although familiar with the Desmosedici bike, this preseason is Canepa’s first adapting the machine to his riding style. He regards his experiences as a mixed blessing, leaving him fairly green in a few aspects of MotoGP competition.

“Last year I didn’t test for many technical solutions, because my work was centred around tyres. The test in Sepang has given me the chance to get more experience and put more miles in with the bike,” he explains.

“Although I was a test rider, I was still riding for my own benefit. I knew that if my times were good enough then I would be rewarded… and now I’m in MotoGP. Without forgetting that I was there to help Ducati and the factory team riders, I was more of a rider than a tester.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, Niccolo Canepa, Pramac Racing

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