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Canepa unworried about test pace ahead of Qatar

Canepa unworried about test pace ahead of Qatar

Even though he was the slowest of the MotoGP riders in the BMW M Award session last weekend Niccolò Canepa says he made some late improvements on Sunday which will boost his confidence ahead of his Grand Prix debut in Qatar.

Lagging behind the rest of the MotoGP grid at Jerez on Saturday and Sunday Pramac Racing’s Niccolò Canepa would have hoped for more from his final test before his rookie Grand Prix season.

His best effort in Sunday’s BMW M Award was nearly three seconds off the pace of his Ducati colleague Casey Stoner, who topped the timesheet, but Canepa remains positive as he looks ahead to his race debut in Qatar the weekend after next.

The Italian youngster is perhaps still slightly star struck by the competitors around him in the premier class, though he can take confidence from the fact that Pramac showed their competitiveness through the results of his team-mate Mika Kallio on Sunday as the Finn lapped sixth quickest.

Former Ducati test rider Canepa explained, “Over the two days I had some problems with the bike and I was not very fast. I would hope to do something much better in Qatar. We were working in the right direction, but we found a good set-up too late, in the last half an hour of the ‘qualifying’ session. We started going faster at the end though, so I am not scared about the first race!”

Showing his human side, he also stated, “When I had my photo taken with all the Italian riders on Sunday, Vale (Rossi), Macho (Melandri), Loris (Capirossi), Dovi (Dovizioso) and De Angelis I almost thought I should ask their permission to be there! Things didn’t go well for me in the showdown session, or on Saturday, I was slow on corners and I was losing too much time. Anyway, my morale is still high and I will not give up.”

MotoGP, 2009, Niccolo Canepa, Pramac Racing

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