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125: Haojue searching for speed.

Haojue team director Garry Taylor has said that the 'honeymoon period' for 125GP's newest manufacturer is over, after a challenging first three rounds in which lead rider Michael Ranseder has made just one race start.

That was at the Qatar season opener, when the Austrian retired from 29th one lap before the end of the rain-shortened four lap race.

Round two in Japan saw the team withdraw both Ranseder and rookie team-mate Matt Hoyle before qualifying, due to a 'technical problem'.

Hoyle then failed to qualify for last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix while Ranseder was unable to start the race after a technical problem on the way to the grid. He had qualified 32nd and last.

While starting a grand prix project from scratch is clearly a daunting prospect, Taylor admitted improvements must be made in terms of both engine performance and reliability - but made clear his riders are not to blame.

"The honeymoon period is over for us now and we need to get our heads down and make some real improvements in the next few GP races,” said the former Suzuki 500cc/MotoGP team manager.

"Everyone knew it would be hard in this ultra-competitive class, but we are very concerned that we are still as much at 17km/h down on top speed. We hoped to be far closer to the top runners on top speed and power by this time in the development programme.

“Our engine designers Jan Witteveen and Franco Moro are very aware of the problem and are working hard to overcome it. We also clearly have a reliability problem which we are working on.

"Our performance is certainly no reflection on the ability and commitment of our two riders, who are both contributing massively to the development programme.

"The whole team's enthusiasm and the support of Haojue remain firm and we are all fully-committed to the success of this exiting and demanding project. But we need to resolve these problems very quickly if we are to show a real improvement,” he warned.

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Dave L - Unregistered

May 07, 2009 3:29 PM

This is kind of a sad situation - they had high hopes. But - the devil is in the details. If they haven't gotten all the little details (bearings, electrics, etc) sorted out, then they will continue to have problems. Aprilla, KTM, etc make it all look so easy --- just points out how much these firms know about small high output engine design and manufacturing.

Mark B - Unregistered

May 07, 2009 2:27 PM

Hope they keep working at it - they have two decent riders - Matthew Hoyle will be a big star one day... I saw him ride at cadwell park last year in the brit 125's and he was awesome - looked like another casey stoner - hope he stays in the paddock and learns from the people around him!

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