At Welkom this weekend the West Honda Pons riders want to get over the storm at Suzuka, where the rain prevented them from being among the top positions in the inaugural race of the World Championship. Both Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros are in good spirits and ready to do battle for the first win of the season before the Championship touches down in Europe on 5th May at the legendary Jerez Grand Prix.

Correos, the Spanish postal service, joins West Honda Pons for the S.African Grand Prix as partner for the remainder of the season.

"It was a pity that it rained in Suzuka because we made a lot of progress during the weekend with the bike's set-up and I am feeling more and more comfortable riding it," said Barros looking back to the last grand prix. "In Welkom we must take another step forward in the right direction. I think that it is a good circuit to get a result, although with the arrival of the 4-strokes, there will be a degree of uncertainty at all circuits. But on the face of it, the South African circuit can offer a more evenly-matched race."

"It's really frustrating putting in such good work, as we did in Japan, only to see the rain put pay to it all," commented a disappointed Capirossi. "However, this first experience has demonstrated that we are up at the front and that we will be pushing for victory. In Welkom last year we matched Valentino Rossi right up to the finish and I hope that the same happens this year but with us the winners. Everything depends on the speed of adaptation and evolution of the 4-stroke bikes at a circuit where they have never been tested."

Team owner Sito Pons, is optimistic about the teams chances this weekend: "We have fond memories of the Welkom Circuit from last year's race where Loris nearly clinched victory and where Alex was also very competitive. After the exceptional practices at Suzuka all the team is in very high spirits and our objective is to win the race."

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