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Canepa remains confident after difficult debut

Canepa remains confident after difficult debut

Pramac Racing’s talented young MotoGP rookie Niccolò Canepa is already enthusiastically looking forward to Japan after his tough debut in Qatar.

With no previous Grand Prix racing experience Monday night’s delayed MotoGP opener was a baptism of fire for Niccolò Canepa at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, as he never got on the pace and crossed the line out of the points in 17th place.

Simply picking up experience and completing his first ever race justified the visit to the Losail International Circuit for the satellite Ducati rider who started last on the grid. A tricky test visit at the beginning of March had already given Canepa a taste of things to come, but he refuses to be too dispirited by his round one Qatar experience.

Assessing the situation calmly but pragmatically he told this week, “Things did not go too well for us. But in the test here we were missing something to put us up in the top ten and given the race pace that was again confirmed by the times on Monday. We came here relaxed and confident, but things just didn’t work out how we wanted.”

He continued, “We can’t blame things on the bike, because that is only half of the problem and we need to work hard to get the right feeling with the machine. Once we find the right base setting for ourselves we won’t need to make any drastic changes for the rest of the season, that’s something I have seen from the other riders. We studied all our data at the end of the race to see what had gone well and what hadn’t so now we can focus on not repeating mistakes, but obviously I need to concentrate on simply riding, not worrying too much about the set-up of the bike.”

The 20 year-old Italian who comes into MotoGP on the back of his experience as a Ducati test rider, had not participated in a competitive race for around a year before last weekend, so simply racing again got the adrenaline flowing.

“I’ve really missed racing so it was exciting to be in there,” said Canepa, who has previously competed in Supersport 1000 and Supersport 600 races. “I enjoyed it a lot, especially the last ten laps, because I followed James Toseland and I learned loads. I wanted to try to overtake him at the end but it wasn’t possible. The important thing was to not just ride around alone, because that wouldn’t have taught me much.”

Looking ahead to Japan and round two Canepa added, “Firstly I need to learn the track when we get there. I know it will be tough because I already knew the Losail track before the GP, but at Motegi I have to get acquainted as quickly as I can and then just go for it.”

MotoGP, 2009, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Niccolo Canepa, Pramac Racing

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