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Pablo Nieto begins preseason testing after scaphoid injury

Pablo Nieto begins preseason testing after scaphoid injury

Pablo Nieto begins preseason testing after scaphoid injury

Spanish 125cc World Championship contender Pablo Nieto has made his long awaited return to action in a two-day test session at Valencia with the Master Repsol Team run by Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar'. Nieto's preseason preparations have been held up by a scaphoid injury he picked up riding supermotard in January, but he was this weekend able to finally get to grips with the official Aprila machine he will pilot in 2004.

A rainy first day on Saturday was followed by fine conditions on Sunday and the 24 year old enjoyed a satisfactory shakedown ahead of the team's next test, scheduled for the 27th and 28th February at Estoril.

"I felt like a kid in new shoes when I got back on the bike," joked Nieto, who took his first ever Grand Prix victory at Estoril last season. "I hadn't ridden since the final race of last season in November and I missed everything about it – the acceleration, the braking… When I arrived at the circuit on Friday night I went to say hello to the team and my bike was there – gleaming new and ready to ride the following day.

"Unfortunately on Saturday it rained for most of the day but I was able to adjust the handlebars to my liking, so that my wrist injury would be affected as little as possible. On Sunday the conditions were a lot better and I was able to do 40 laps which was enough time to compare the bike with last year's. We did stints of 10 laps at a time and my hand hurt a bit but that is normal with an injury of this type.

"The feeling I got from the bike was very good but I felt a little unfulfilled because I wanted to ride for a lot longer. Anyway, now I am just looking forward to going to Estoril to continue the preseason preparations. Doctor Villamor has done a great job and I would like to thank him very much for that."

125cc, 2003, Pablo Nieto

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