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Marlboro Yamaha team Press Release

Marlboro Yamaha team Press Release

Marlboro Catalan Grand Prix, Catalunya : First Qualifying, Friday June 15 2001

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi had a busy firstday at sun-drenched Catalunya, working at perfecting their set-up for this complex racetrack and placing eighth and 13th. The Barcelona circuithasn´t been kind to Yamaha in the recent past, though both men went well here during pre-season testing in early March. Biaggi clocked a 1m 46.0s best during those tests and is currently 1.2 seconds off that pace. An increase in track temperature - from 28 degrees in March to 44 degrees this afternoon - is the most likely cause for the Italian´s slower pace and his crew are working to make sure he´s back on it tomorrow. Checa is currently just 0.2 seconds off his winter lap times and confident of going fasterover the rest of the weekend.

´Both guys have been having problems with chatter,´ explainedMarlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust. ´Carlos improved his bike over the day,he´ s taking his time to find a balance that dials out the chatter before he starts to push hard. He doesn´t want to make any mistakes. Max had chatter this morning and this afternoon the bike wasn´t turning the way he likesit to turn. We´ll examine all the data and decide which way to go fortomorrow, but we need to do something because he was doing 46s flat when we tested here in early March.´


Carlos Checa was eighth fastest in this afternoon´s opening qualifier, giving himself a provisional slot on the second row of the grid. The local star, born in nearby Sant Fruitos, spent much of today concentrating on ironing out chatter - a high-speed vibration at the tyre´s contact patch - so he can get close to the front during tomorrow´s final qualifier and Sunday´s all-important race.

´So far our only real concern is the rear end,´ said the Marlboro Yamaha Team man. ´It´s chattering through the turns, so I can´t keep my rolling speed. I´m having to shorten the turns and get on the throttle later. It´s frustrating but we´ve improved the bike through today and I´m confident we can make things even better for tomorrow. This isn´t the best track for Yamaha, but Abe is second so far which suggests that we aren´t getting the full potential from our bikes.´


Marlboro Yamaha Team ace Max Biaggi struggled to get anywhere near the lap times he recorded here during pre-season testing, ending today´s first qualifying session a very uncharacteristic 13th quickest. Currently second overall in the points chase and closing on series leader Valentino Rossi (Honda), who crashed this afternoon, Biaggi needs a good result here to continue his championship charge.

´It´s very strange, I did much faster times in March with realease,´ said Biaggi. ´It´s annoying because we worked really hard during those tests, we did good lap times and the bike felt good. Now it´s not working well and I can´t put my finger on any one problem. We started the day with our settings from the test and this afternoon we switched to the set-up we used at Mugello. Neither are working, so Fiorenzo (Fanali, his crew chief) and I will sit down this evening and work out what to do for tomorrow.´

500cc, 2001

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