130 interminable days will have passed between 7th November 2010, when the last MotoGP World Championship finished, and 17th March 2011, when the new...

130 interminable days will have passed between 7th November 2010, when the last MotoGP World Championship finished, and 17th March 2011, when the new season is due to fire up. Motorcycling fans around the world have been biting their nails with anticipation but the riders at least have been able to pack their bags and head for Qatar, where the 2011 season will roar into life this week. The opening round of the 125cc season features several changes to the schedule, with two extra sessions pencilled in for Thursday evening and no warm-up before the race takes place on Sunday. The first race of the season is always an important opportunity for the title contenders to strike a demoralising first blow to their rivals, with Nico Terol, Hector Faubel, Sandro Cortese and Efren Vázquez amongst the favourites to do just that this weekend.

The BANKIA Aspar pairing of Nico Terol and Héctor Faubel are popular bets for the opening victory of the season, although they are both keen not to count their chickens before they have hatched. The Spanish duo both know what it is like to win at the desert circuit, Faubel having done so in 2007 and Terol last year. They each ended those seasons as the championship runner-up and after a positive preseason they will both be looking to go one better this time around. Alongside them in the BANKIA Aspar box will be the team’s new signing, and fellow Valencian, Adrián Martín. The youngster is set to contest his second season at Grand Prix level, with the simple aim of learning as much as possible and the hope of featuring regularly in the top ten.

Nico Terol: “We have had a great preseason and we arrive in Qatar feeling really positive and in perfect shape. From a technical perspective we have found a good base setting which should allow us to be fast from the first minute on track. Last year I won this race and the objective is to fight to do so once again. We have to keep our feet on the ground because everybody is eager to do well in the first race and we have to be careful. As far as I am concerned I will work as hard as ever, as I have done in preseason, and go out to give it everything. I am really excited because I know we have been going about things in the right way and the team is giving me more guarantees than ever.”

Héctor Faubel: “I really can’t wait for the season to start. Losail is a circuit I love and I have good memories of it because it has been good to me in the past. In 2007 I won and I love the experience of racing at night. I am not obsessed with the result this weekend, I just want to focus on the job, give my best and we’ll see what happens. We have done a lot of work in preseason to make sure that my return to the 125cc class goes as smoothly as possible and the foundations are in place. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll go over full race distance so if we get chance I’d like to do a full race simulation before Sunday. Anyway, I’m feeling calm because I am sure everything is in place.”

Adrián Martín: “We go to Qatar with not much preseason testing behind us but I still can’t wait to get started. I haven’t had a lot of track time over the winter but that is made up for by the fact that I was able to sign for the best team in 125. The Losail circuit wasn’t particularly good to me on my first visit last year but the chance to share a garage with Nico and Héctor gives me a lot of motivation and I know I can learn a lot from them. The team has been really supportive and that makes everything easier. My target is to score points from the first race and if it can be in the top ten then so much the better.”

Source: Bankia Aspar Team

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