The Chinese Maxtra 125 has completed a second 'major' series of tests at the Adria circuit in Italy - which saw two bikes running and more than 150 laps completed.

"We're not race ready yet, obviously. But we're well on target for our debut next season, and everybody is very happy. We made a lot of progress," claimed project leader Garry Taylor.

"We had two different engine variations to test, and the engine proved fast and reliable," he continued.

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"Most importantly, we now also have two bikes, which meant we could run a non-stop testing programme. Rider Michael Wilcox ran 80-odd laps a day over two days and it was quite clear how much progress had been made on both chassis and engine since our last test here," he said.

Having passed endurance tests at the previous visit to the Adria International Raceway, the next stage for the engine was to improve performance. A lot of work had also been done on the chassis.

"The bike was significantly faster all round. And it came with reliability, so myself, John and the rest of the project team are all really happy with our progress," explained Taylor.

Taylor also took advantage of the proximity of the Adria circuit, south of Venice, to visit the MotoGP paddock at Misano before the start of practice for last weekend's San Marino GP.

"I had the chance to talk to GP management, and also to riders' representatives. There was a lot of interest in the project," he said.

Meanwhile, Maxtra chassis designer Lester Harris, of Harris Performance Products, outlined a raft of development changes suggested by the previous tests. One issue was to improve airflow and engine cooling.

"We altered the fairing, the front mudguard, the radiator, the airbox, the exhaust routing and the footrest positions, based on what we learned last time," said Harris.

"On the chassis geometry side, we have been able to narrow down the limits of adjustability. At first we built in a lot of adjustment, and we wanted to reduce the area we're working in. There is more to be done, but we have achieved what we wanted at these tests.

"Basically it's been very encouraging," he said. "The rider was very happy and confident, and was able to start pushing harder and thinking about the finer details of the performance."

The next tests later in September will take the machine one stage further towards the goal of being fully race-ready for 2009.