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Loris Capirossi finds form on final day of Estoril test

Loris Capirossi finds form on final day of Estoril test

Loris Capirossi lapped under the track record for a two-wheeled machine at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril today on the third and final day of IRTA´s official 500 and 250 tests. The West Honda Pons rider clocked a 1.40.109 to beat fellow Italian Max Biaggi´s best time on the second day.

There were high profile crashes today as Biaggi´s team-mate Carlos Checa, Valentino Rossi (Nastro Azzuro Honda), Alex Barros (West Honda Pons) and Dee Cee Jeans duo Marcus Payten and Barry Veneman all hit the dust.

Capirossi was understandably satisfied with his time: ´I am very happy with the bike - this will be my second season on the Honda NSR and I think we´re building up a good relationship now. Today serves as recognition that the work the team is doing is effective, and that when we do have problems we have the right formula to put them right. I set the best time on one of my final laps and of course I am delighted.´

Capirossi´s team-mate Alex Barros said of his crash ´I was trying to improve on 6th position and was pushing quite hard. I fell and hurt my backside a little but fortunately I escaped any real injury and will be fit for the next tests in Valencia. You have to push a the bike in these tests to find the limits of tyres and engine, so it´s quite likely that you will crash at some stage. Like I say, the important thing is that I haven´t injured myself before the start of the Championship.´

Shinya Nakano and Kenny Roberts Jr. stayed with Max Biaggi in the pits after their respective falls yesterday, whilst Garry McCoy was satisfied with his previous efforts and also decided not to lap.

250 sensation Daijiro Katoh couldn´t better his fastest lap from yesterday on the Honda, but was still the quickest rider on show today. Marco Melandri improved his time slightly on board his factory Aprilia, but Japanese star Katoh is looking unstoppable at this early stage of the proceedings and the rest of the 250 class have much work to do before the start of the season at Suzuka on the 8th April.

Overall lap times after three days:

Capirossi (Honda) 1.40.109
Biaggi (Yamaha) 1.40.149
Checa (Yamaha) 1.40.166
VdGoorbergh (Proton KR) 1.40.328
Ukawa (Honda) 1.40.535
McCoy (Yamaha) 1.40.623
Roberts (Suzuki) 1.40.659
Barros (Honda) 1.40.732
Abe (Yamaha) 1.40.898
Rossi (Honda) 1.41.139

Katoh (Honda) 1.41.004
Melandri (Aprilia) 1.41.960
Harada (Aprilia) 1.42.505
McWilliams (Aprilia) 1.42.919
Lucchi (Aprilia) 1.42.940
Nohles (Aprilia) 1.43.030
Locatelli (Aprilia) 1.43.033
F.Nieto (Aprilia) 1.43.041
Debon (Aprilia) 1.43.127
Matsudo (Yamaha) 1.43.132
Alzamora (Honda) 1.43.713

500cc, 2001

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