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Yamaha Japanese riders Norick Abe (Antena 3 Yamaha d´Antin) and Shinya Nakano (Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3) continued their impressive 2001 form to finish the Spanish MotoGP, held in Jerez on May 6, second and fourth respectively. The results secured third in the championship points-standings for Nakano (37pts), and second for the revitalised Abe (44pts), who produced the perfect start and led the 22-bike field into turn one. Eventual race winner Valentino Rossi (Honda) slipped through at the following right-hander but couldn´t shake the #6 Antena 3 Yamaha, eventually making a mistake on lap 13 and allowing Abe to take the lead.
Over the next seven laps Abe led the race with Rossi hounding him at every turn. On lap 20, entering the final hairpin onto the front straight the Honda rider made his move and went on to produce a string of lap record breaking circuits to win the race by 2.307 seconds, and build his championship lead to 75pts.
Nakano looked set for a podium finish when third placed Loris Capirossi (Honda) overshot turn one, but a hard charging Alex Criville (Honda), cheered on by his home crowd, made his way past the 23-year-old on lap 23 to complete the podium. Abe´s teammate José Luis Cardoso, exited the 27 lap race on lap four after gearbox problems prevented him from finishing.
Meanwhile Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Max Biaggi was looking strong in seventh place during the early stages when he ran off the Jerez circuit. The Italian rejoined the race in 12th place and finished 11th to be sixth in the title on 29pts.Antena 3 Yamaha d´Antin
Norick Abe 2nd: ´I did it again, another good start, but this time I was able to stick with Rossi. I was riding hard to stay with him, but I was riding well. The bike was perfect and I could put it where I liked. The differences between the two bikes are very little and we were running the same tyres so it was just a matter of waiting for a mistake.
´Rossi looked like he made it half way through the race but I think he wanted me to get through so he could see where I was strong. So I changed my plan and slowed down for three laps to see if he would go by again. When he didn´t I changed my thinking again and put in three or four very hard laps to try and win, but then the front tyre began to slide very much and I changed my plan again. Finish was my new goal, and I´m happy with the result.´
José Luis Cardoso DNF 23 laps: ´There was a problem with the gearbox. I could change up but not down very well. I tied to ride around it for a while but it just got worse and then didn´t work at all. It´s very disappointing for me and the team but I’m happy for Abe.´Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3
Shinya Nakano 3rd: ´I am a little disappointed, yet happy at the same time. I finished fifth and fourth in the first two races so I wanted a podium for the team. But I guess that third in the championship in my first year so far is very good.
´I was happy with the start but not so happy during the first few laps. After crashing this morning the bike had many new parts and I was riding in a way to make sure they all worked. It was my fault, but when the bike and I settled in I began to ride harder, but by then the group had already began to make a break. I tried to up the pace when Alex Criville came by and that´s when I put in my best laps.´
´I don´t know whether it was from the crash the other day, but I cannot ride the bike with the way my wrist is now. I´m going to the doctor back in France as soon as possible to see if there is something we can do before the French Grand Prix.´Red Bull Yamaha WCMGarry McCoy 9th: ´I was looking for a good start and a strong few laps but after about four or five I started having trouble with the front end of the bike. I´m not sure what it was but it made it really hard to put in fast and consistent times. In the end, after crashing in South Africa, I decided to finish where I was and get some points to ensure I was still in the game when it really cou
17 years ago
17 years ago
17 years ago