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Repsol Honda Saturday official press release

Repsol Honda Saturday official press release

The spectators in Suzuka saw a thrilling second qualifying session this afternoon, with more than six riders taking turns at the top of the classification. The expected fight within the Japanese riders and with Ukawa as one of the favourites was interrupted in the final moments when Capirossi surprised everybody with the fastest lap. Local idol Tohru Ukawa will start from fifth position on the grid into his first ever 500 race. Alex Crivillé was hoping to defend his second row position, but his eleventh place forces him now to start from the third row, even though he is still optimistic for the race, thanks to a good and consistent pace in practice.Alex Criville (11º): “My aim for today was to maintain my second row position on the grid, but this was not possible today. I’m not too worried though, because my pace in practice was good, and I think that the race leaders will ride in high ,06’s and low ,07’s. In the last five minutes, I missed out on a fast lap to improve in the qualifying list, but there were a lot of riders on the track that were waiting for somebody to tow them along, and in the end I didn’t have any reference to put in my best time. With this grid position, the most important thing tomorrow is a good start if I want to be within the battle for the first positions, even though I am well aware that we are just at the very beginning, and the championship is very long. In these two first races, the most important thing is just to collect as many points as possible.”Tohru Ukawa (5º): “I was going faster than yesterday, and fifth position is not a bad result. The most important thing is that we found a good set-up for the race. The time Capirossi put in is really surprising, and even though I also tried hard to get down to the ,04’s, I’m sure that race pace tomorrow won’t be that fast, probably in the ,06’s. The first part of the race will be very balanced, but the real fight for victory will start from mid-race on. I have already won the Suzuka 8 Hours here three times, but racing a 500 is another thing, and I don’t know in what physical kind of shape I’ll be in by the end of the race. But I’m an optimist and I believe that I will take a good result in my first 500 race tomorrow.”

500cc, 2001

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