The dream of Sebasti?n Porto became real. The Argentinian completed three days tests in the circuit of Jerez, Spain with his new bike. The Honda 250 RSW of the factory Honda team of Alberto Puig, former driver of the World Championship. In the first test day the temperature was very low and the circuit was washed after two days of rain. Sebasti?n finished seventh with 1'47.275. Two second behind the fastest driver on friday, the rookie Manuel Poggiali, who marked 1'45.230 in his best lap. Poggiali is former champion in 125cc World Championship and this season will drive the Aprilia of Marco Melandri, 2002 champion of the 250cc World Championship. Another advantage for Poggiali is his team boss, Rossano Brazzi, who won the championship with Cadalora, Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri.
`The Honda 250 RSW is a new bike and we must develop it. Today I met the staff of Alberto`s team. They have a fantastic organization, I`m sourprised with my team boss who know a lot. Also one of the mechanics is Emanuele Martinelli, who already worked with me in the Yamaha team`.
`In this first test the idea is not to mark a good time, we must work in the set up of the chassis and the engine. The important is that we are not far away of the Aprilias. Roberto Rolfo (the other factory Honda driver but with other team) already did a private test and his sixth today. The idea is to continue working in the set up of the chassis. I`m very happy with the team and happy of be with Honda`.
The second test day had the presence of the rain in the circuit. However when the journey was ending and the rain stoped, almost all the teams that have in Jerez his first opportunity to ride in the 2003 bikes, used this time to complete the activity. The Australian Anthony West took the best time with 1'47.935, followed by the sub-champion in the 2002 season, Toni Elias. Both with Aprilia. The best Honda was the Argentinian driver Porto, third with 1'48.990.
Sebasti?n, after 39 laps to the spanish circuit said: `It wasn`t a good day with the rain. This doesn`t help to develop a new bike. However we continue making experience and that is important for us. At the end of the day, we tested some different solutions in the set up and we improved. I hope the weather help tomorrow to continue working`.
And the weather did helped in the third test day. Porto finished the IRTA tests in Jerez with 1'46"469, his best time of the three days, after fifty laps. Sebasti?n ended sixth at the end of the day. Randy de Puniet was the fastest in the 250cc showing the potential of the new factory Aprilia. The french driver marked 1:44.570 and he almost break the record of Daijiro Kato in 2001.
`We are very happy because we used all the day and for us that is very important. The good thing now is to do lots of kilometers. We worked a lot in the chassis and I finished with a good time for be the first time with the new bike. Also we improved a lot in the set up. Now we have tests in Estoril this week, and like I said before we have a good chassis, we just have to keep testing things to improve the Honda. We will work until have the 100% of the bike` said Porto.
Now the 250cc teams will move to the circuit of Estoril to complete the second IRTA test.