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Repsol Honda Sunday official press release

Repsol Honda Sunday official press release

Today´s 500 Grand Prix in Suzuka was one of the hardest fought battles in recent times of motorcycle racing, and Tohru Ukawa was within the group of the strongest riders in his first 500 race. Tenth after one lap, the Japanese star of Team Repsol YPF Honda climbed position by position, taking second place in the crucial stage of the race. A crash five laps from the end put a bitter end to his hunt. Alex Crivillé passed the start and finish line in 13th position after one lap, and when he tried to recover too quickly, he ran off the track and was down in 19th position when he crossed the line for the second time. From that point on, Crivillé did the same lap times as the guys in front to finally finish in ninth position.

Alex Criville: ´I started well, but at the end of the main straight, I had to hit the rear brake, and several other riders got past me. I overtook Gibernau in the following lap, and when I found myself riding behind Checa, I upped the pace a bit in order to stay with him and the group in front of me, and I ran off the track. I managed to hold on and stay upright, but obviously I dropped far back. From this moment on, all I could do was to maintain a consistent pace and pass other riders, which finally rewarded me with ninth position. The result isn´t good, but at least I´m leaving this Grand Prix with confidence, and it is clear to me that this was only the beginning.´

Tohru Ukawa: “Fortunately, I didn´t break any bones, I´m just bashed and bruised all over my body and my left ankle is hurting. Today was a great day for Honda, because they could celebrate their 500th victory in Grand Prix racing at their home event. Today was my first race in the 500 class, and I realized quickly that it has nothing to do with 250 racing. In the 250s, there were only four or five riders able to fight for victory, but in the 500 class, there are many more competitive riders. I had a lot of fun during the race today, and I did the fastest lap just before I went down. I thought I could make the break and get away from this group, but then I crashed. That´s racing, but I will be perfectly okay for the South African Grand Prix.´

500cc, 2001

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