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Seedorf and Derbi Racing teams continue preseason preparations

Seedorf and Derbi Racing teams continue preseason preparations

Seedorf and Derbi Racing teams continue preseason preparations

Preparations for the 125cc World Championship continued apace at the Catalunya circuit this week, where Team Seedorf and Derbi Racing completed two days of private tests. For Team Seedorf riders Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista the test presented their first opportunity to try out the updated versions of the Aprilia they will use during the 2004 season.

"I gradually got used to the new equipment and by the end of the second day I felt comfortable," commented Barberá, who starts the season as the highest ranked rider in the class after finishing third last year behind 250cc rookies Dani Pedrosa and Alex De Angelis. "We realised that we had a slight crack in one of the shocks but I tried Álvaro's and the lap time was pretty good. I think if we continue along these lines then we will be at the right level in time for the first race in South Africa. With a couple more test sessions we will be 100%." The Spanish youngster clocked a best time of 1'52.6 over the two days, whilst his team-mate and compatriot Bautista was slightly quicker with a 1'52.3.

The Caja Madrid Derbi Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Angel Rodríguez struggled to keep pace with the Aprilias, both setting 1'54.5 and later complaining that the cool conditions slowed down their progress as they tested a variety of new parts. Lorenzo tried out a new swingarm, different suspension settings and some engine variations whilst Rodríguez concentrated on a new exhaust and the DRD-04 chassis that Lorenzo tested a couple of weeks ago at Almería.

"I am not really satisfied with this test at all because I didn't feel comfortable at any point," moaned Lorenzo. "The new chassis seems to work well but we won't know that for sure until I can push it to the limit. The track temperature wasn't high enough and I didn't feel safe enough to risk anything. Hopefully things will be better at Estoril and at the official tests, when we will have exact references of where we are compared to our rivals."

125cc, 2003

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