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Repsol YPF Honda Team Press Release

Repsol YPF Honda Team Press Release

Despite less than promising weather forecasts, the first day of practice for the Catalunyan Grand Prix remained mostly sunny and warm. But even though the conditions were ideal for the motorcycle Grand Prix teams, the Repsol YPF Honda riders had mixed fortunes in the first timed session. For Tohru Ukawa, who arrived with the determination to repeat his podium finish of the South African Grand Prix, the session was cut short by three minutes due to a crash. Ukawa was holding sixth position at that time, but eventually dropped back to ninth. Alex Crivillé, who is in high spirits since taking fourth place at the last race in Mugello, hasn´t yet found the set-up that allows him to get the maximum out of his Honda, but he remains optimistic and confident to improve his lap times tomorrow.

Tohru Ukawa 9th – 1:46.862,23 laps, 109 Km

´I´m disappointed because the crash was my fault. I pushed more and more going into that turn, and finally I lost the front end. The motorcycle worked perfectly up to this point, and I was doing very well before I went down. This is exactly what made me try harder, and eventually I crashed. Fortunately, I feel all right, the motorcycle wasn´t damaged too much, and I think of tomorrow´s practice already. Before my crash, I had good feedback from the bike and I was riding in comfort, because out of all circuits in the championship, Catalunya is my favourite. I just hope that the weather stays fine during the weekend. I feel good and I´m keen to get on the podium at this race.´

Alex Crivillé 11th – 1:47.121,25 laps, 118 Km

´It was a struggle to set-up the bike today, and I still don´t feel comfortable riding. For the rest of the afternoon, we have to continue to work with the data we collected, and we have to try everything to improve the settings in order to cut the lap times down tomorrow. We definitely have to find some other solutions, because right now, the motorcycle is moving around a lot, it tends to run wide in the middle of the corners, and I can´t open the throttle with confidence. It´s hard going into the turns as well, the bike should be more stable and easier to steer. We still have two sessions left tomorrow, the Grand Prix has only just begun, and now I have to maintain my concentration so I can improve my grid position and ride a good race.´

500cc, 2001

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