Chaz Checks In... Preseason 2006
Hello and Happy New Year to everybody! I hope everybody had a good Christmas and New year and best wishes for ’06.
Finally I’m able to confirm some good news that I’ll be riding for Team Campetella in 250’s this season. I’m really looking forward to working with a new team and one that’s as established as Campetella is. At the end of last season I was looking at Campetella as one of what would be my top choices for team in ’06. There were other opportunities with other 250 teams and also a chance in BSB but the offer from Campetella was something that we’ve been waiting for for the last 4 years in GP’s. It seems like I’ve been in the paddock for a long time but GP’s is really where I want to be and not just be there to make up the numbers, be competitive. After a couple of conversations towards the end of last season and ongoing phone conversations in November and early December we found out that there would be a new sponsor joining the team which would provide the budget and also make it possible for me to join. The teams new sponsor, the uk site bestrealmoneyonlinecasinos.co.uk are a very successful internet service and gambling advice providing company. Ticino are expanding their brand into economic and commercial sectors and doing it through different promotion and that’s how it came about that they are now the title sponsor of Team Campetella. Ticino had a slice on the side of Roberto Rolfo’s bike last year so they are well aware of MotoGP and are very enthusiastic about the sport. My team mate is going to be Taro Sekiguchi who also rode for Campetella last year and there will also be two 125cc riders who are, Andrea Iannone and another Italian who is yet to be confirmed.
After 3 years with Aprilia Germany I felt it was time for some new surroundings and to see what else is possible. I had mixed fortune in Aprilia Germany due to various reasons and now I think that this opportunity that I’ve got is going to be my best chance in GP’s so far. My bike is a semi-factory Aprilia and supposed to be similar to that of what the factory bikes were last year. At the moment I think it’s too early too say whether that is going to be true because it’s only talk but I’ll find out for sure at my first test, it would be nice though………..fingers crossed! But for sure my bike will be closer to the factory bikes than what I have been on before and the objective for the season is to be fighting in amongst the factory bikes and to try and win the IRTA cup (for the non-factory bikes). Testing has not been confirmed yet but the bikes are being delivered at the start of next week and we may have a test before the end of the month which would be an ideal shakedown.
This winter I’ve kept myself busy by dabbling in all the usual off season fun. I’ve been riding mini MX bikes a lot and I did my first proper enduro in November which was a killer! It was a 2.5 hour 1 man enduro in the snow covered Welsh hills and I don’t think it could have been much harder for a first time enduro amateur! There were bogs up past the foot pegs and I hadn’t ridden an MX bike for at least 2 months prior to the race so I wasn’t exactly ‘MX bike fit’ to say the least! I finished it and my quickest lap wasn’t too far away from the best in my class but I had a few too many big crashes and took a couple of 5-10 minute ‘arm pump curing breaks’ which damaged my result and I finished up in 8th so it wasn’t too bad. I’d like to do another one but the season is getting a bit too close now and I could quite easily injure myself!
January is where I start to wind my training up. I’ve got into cycling the last 2 years and do a fair bit of that which I enjoy. Even though it’s much more pleasurable in the summer! Last summer I was doing between 150-200miles a week and got myself to a pretty decent level so that’s where I’m working my way back up to. At the very start of this month I went out to Cartegena for 3 days on a Racedays.net track day in aid of Riders for Health. It was good fun. I went over with Leon Camier and rode a four-stroke for the first time which was also good fun and a good experience. I felt comfortable on the bike pretty quickly and got on with it well. It was as I expected, a fair bit easier to ride than a 250 but a very different style of riding with it. As my new team is all Italian speaking I am also teaching myself Italian off some CD’s that I have. Although, for some reason they don’t go into suspension setup and technical chassis jargon…..!
For now I’m just looking forward to working in new surroundings and trying something new and especially excited about getting on and trying the new bike! It’s going to be interesting to feel just how different the bikes will be compared to what I’ve ridden before and I’m looking forward to the challenge! Hopefully I’ll give people something to shout about! I’ll keep you posted after my first test. Finally, I have to say Thanks to Ticino Hosting and Team Campetella for this opportunity and I hope we can have a successful season together.