Estoril to host latest 250cc/125cc test next week

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Portuguese track welcomes lower cylinder category stars for further testing of 2009 machinery.

The Portuguese circuit of Estoril will be abuzz with two-stroke action from March 15th-17th, as preparations for the 2009 125cc and 250cc seasons continue.

Testing at the track will see riders making their debuts with new machinery and teams, but the most attention will be centered on last year’s 250cc World Champion and runner-up Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista. The two have set some speedy times in testing thus far in 2009 preseason, but have yet to share tracktime onboard their respective Gilera and Aprilia RSAs.

Bautista will be making his return to action after breaking his collarbone in a wet February test in Valencia, and will continue to work on his fitness and Aprilia electronics over the course of the three days in Estoril.

Other top quarter-litre names set for attendance are category newcomer and reigning 125cc titlist Mike di Meglio, 250cc rookie Gabor Talmacsi, Emmi Caffe Latte’s Swiss star Thomas Luthi and the Honda-backed Hiroshi Aoyama, all expected to be battling for race wins in 2009. The test will also give a 250cc debut testing ride to Stevie Bonsey, the American who joins the Aprilia Madrid outfit after two campaigns in 125cc.

The class that Bonsey leaves behind is also bringing some big names to Estoril, with the always-strong Aspar team giving their new line-up another run on track. Julian Simon, Bradley Smith and Sergio Gadea have been consistently fast in all their testing outings thus far, sending out a message to their rivals at the Valencia and Jerez circuits.

2008 standouts Stefan Bradl and Simone Corsi will be putting in laps on their own factory Aprilia bikes, whilst another pair of RSAs will also be ridden for the first time by DeGraaf Grand Prix’s Randy Krummenacher and Danny Webb. Derbi will be represented by the Karlos Arguinano-backed duo of Pol Espargaro and Joan Olive and Ajo Motorsport’s Sandro Cortese and Dominique Aegerter.

The weather in Estoril is expected to be sunny for the test, with temperatures having reached 23 degrees Celsius in recent days.

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