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Masao Azuma looks back on a disappointing start to his campaign

Masao Azuma looks back on a disappointing start to his campaign

Masao Azuma looks back on a disappointing start to his campaign

I was unlucky in Sunday´s race in Catalunya as I qualified in thirteenth place, and managed to get a very good start, and was about sixth or seventh on the first lap. But just after the back straight there is a hairpin, and as I entered the corner somebody hit me from the inside and pushed me out on to the gravel. From that moment my race was more or less finished, as I got back on the track but was in last place on my own, a long way back. I continued the race though and tried to push hard, and in the end I was able to come back to take fifteenth place, and score a point. Even though this is really not enough for me, I was lucky to get a point, but unlucky to have been so far back.

This season has been a disappointment for us so far. Aprilia, Gilera and Derbi are all now going faster than last year, and I think even though Honda have improved also, our engine is not fast enough at the moment. But our team is working very hard and since the Grand Prix in Le Mans things have been getting better, I think we must continue to make improvements to the engine, but it is coming bit by bit and we are getting there.

Recently I´ve been having a bit of a problem with the rear tyre, and so we stayed on at Montmelo after the race for some testing, and tried some new tyre options. We took a lot of useful information away with us and we will now be able to make improvements to our tyres for the next race or the one after that. Of course we are aiming to get better results in the rest of the season, but it will not be that easy because a lot of riders are now going faster. However the team has great motivation, and will never give up trying to improve our results.

The next race of the season is in Assen, and that is a circuit that I like very much. They have changed the design of the course a little bit for this season, so it will be new for all the riders and means that everyone has a chance. I think we can have a good race there, and then hopefully keep on doing well for the rest of the year.

125cc, 2002

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