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Repsol YPF Honda Friday press release

Repsol YPF Honda Friday press release

The unstable meteorological conditions, with rain showers just an hour before the start of the 500 practice, changed the normal development of the first timed session for the French Grand Prix. Alex Crivillè, who took a strong fourth place in this morning’s free practice and even lead the classification for a long part of the session, opted against taking unnecessary risks even when the track finally dried up. As better weather conditions are expected for tomorrow’s final practice anyway, he settled for twelfth position. His team-mate Tohru Ukawa, who celebrates his 28th birthday today and who won the 250 cc Grand Prix last year in Le Mans, went quicker than this morning and took nineth place even though he still didn’t find a good set-up for his Honda Repsol YPF.

Tohru Ukawa, 9º
26 laps, 112 Km
“Today wasn’t a good day, because neither this morning nor this afternoon we found the right gearbox settings. Apart from that, we have to refine the behaviour of the engine. My lap times therefore haven’t been very good today, I’m about one second down on pole position. But I’m sure that if we get the set-up right tomorrow, we can improve and reduce the gap to the fastest riders. At the end of the session, the engine worked much better, but it still wasn’t enough. Last year, I won here aboard a Honda 250, therefore I have very good memories of this track. It’s my birthday today, and it would be very nice to celebrate it again on Sunday with a podium finish.”

Alex Crivillé, 12º
27 laps, 116 Km
“This morning’s practice session went quite well, but in the afternoon, the track was wet at some points, and I didn’t want to risk a crash. Due to my lack of confidence, I went much less aggressive into the corners than I did in the morning, and that cost me some fractions of a second. Halfway through the session, the track dried up, but nevertheless I didn’t get the confidence back to push it to the limit. Fortunately the weather forecast is good for tomorrow, so our plan is to fine-tune the set-up of the motorcycle in the morning and to go for faster lap times in the afternoon, in order to make sure of a good grid position for the race on Sunday.”

500cc, 2001

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