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Ueda gets off to flying start at IRTA tests in Jerez
Nobby Ueda, riding the new TSR-Honda, started the first day of IRTA tests in Jerez this morning as he means to go on for the rest of the season - on top. The Spanish circuit was slightly damp at the start of the morning session but Ueda was one of the first riders out as it began to dry and was soon setting the standard for the other riders to follow. Motogp.com caught up with the Japanese star at lunchtime as he enjoyed a brief break from a hectic day´s testing.
motogp.com: How´s the test going for you so far Nobby?
Nobby Ueda: Not so bad at the moment. The track isn´t so good as it rained last night and there are still some damp patches out there so we have to be careful. My times have been quite good but there is a long way to go yet and we still have a lot of things to test.
Q: Which parts of the bike have you been concentrating on?
NU: We have got a completely new chassis so that´s been our main focus today. We tried it out before at Suzuka but we can´t really get a proper feel for it until we test it at other tracks so it´s important to see how it goes here.
Q: Will you be testing any other parts whilst you´re here in Jerez?
NU: We have a new engine as well as a new chassis and this is the first time we have used it so there´s lots of things we will have to look at. One of the most important things about the IRTA tests though for all the teams is not just to test the bike but also to build up the communication between the riders and mechanics. Many riders are with new teams, including myself so this is a great opportunity and a good experience for me.
Q: How is your relationship with the TSR team?
NU: It´s perfect because they are all Japanese mechanics who I´ve known for many years. I live near them in Japan and I visit them all the time so we have no problem communicating.
Q: What are your hopes for the 2001 season?
NU: (laughing) This is my 11th year in the Championships and I´d like to think I could win it at least one time in my life! Yes, I´ll be trying to win the Championship this year.
Q: Do you believe this bike is better equipped to challenge for the title than the machines you have ridden in the past?
NU: Frankly speaking I don´t know! My first impressions of the bike are that it´s not bad, but all I can say is that I will try my best.