Caponera evaluates season so far

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

With the 125cc World Championship now reaching half way stage Fiorenzo Caponera, Team Manager of Ongetta I.S.P.A. structure, has evaluated the 2009 campaign to date.

The small break in between Assen and Sachsnering for the smaller classes, with seven rounds gone and nine to go, provides an opportunity for reflection on the season so far and a chance to look forward to the challenges ahead.

One of the teams to have made regular headlines in the 125cc category in the first half of the year is the Ongetta Racing I.S.P.A, structure which came together over the 08-09 winter break and has enjoyed some remarkable triumphs already this season.

The main star in the team is Italian rider Andrea Iannone, who has had a rollercoaster time of things, winning three races (in Qatar, Japan and Barcelona) and failing to score a single point in two others (at Jerez and Mugello), reaching the half way stage in third position in the standings – just 19.5 points behind leader Julián Simón.

At 19 years old, weighing 70kg and standing 1.77m tall, Iannone is one of the bigger riders in the class and his Team Manager Fiorenzo Caponera believes those are restrictive factors, even if he rates his rider extremely highly.

“Andrea is having a great season compared with last year,” commented Caponera. “He has a factory Aprilia and he has already won three races. We think he is held back a bit in this class by his height and weight, which affects him more at some races than others, but we are very happy with him.”

“We still have a good chance at the World title and I’m sure it’s possible for us to win it, we just need some luck in the races where Andrea’s top speed is restricted by his weight.”

Sharing a tightly packed pit-box with Iannone are three additional young riders, Takaaki Nakagami, Lorenzo Zanetti and Jonas Folger, the last of whom has been sporadically impressive as he undertakes his first full World Championship campaign – on the back of six GP appearances last year.

His superb second place at Le Mans is Folger’s standout result to date, though he has charged through the field from the back of the grid on more than one occasion. “Jonas has been a big surprise for everyone,” stated Caponera. “He still has a significant amount to learn, but he is a great young lad and more than anything he is fast. A big project could be built around him and I think he’ll be back on the podium again this season.”

Asked to summarise the Ongetta I.S.P.A.’s first half season in Grand Prix competition, Caponera commented, “We are a team that has been created in order produce competitive young riders and bring them up to a high professional standard. For the moment we are achieving what we set out to do.”

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