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Marlboro Team Yamaha

Marlboro Team Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Max Biaggi came home a brilliant second intoday´s thrilling Marlboro Catalan GP, continuing a strong run of results aboard his factory YZR500. Team-mate Carlos Checa had a less rewarding day,riding around set-up troubles to cross the line eighth. The race was close and fraught, with several crashes as the pack jostled for position, Valentino Rossi (Honda) coming out the winner.

´It was a bit of a strange race, with everyone bunching up and some slower-than-usual lap times for a while,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Teammanager Geoff Crust. ´A lot of the guys had chosen different tyres and no one was really sure whether they´d made the correct choice, so they were all waiting. Then it started getting interesting and Max made a really good charge, it was great to watch him coming through, but he didn´t haveenough time to make a push on Rossi. Carlos has had a difficult weekend, he´sbeen trying to work around a few problems and the bike wasn´t what he wantedfor the race. But he rode sensibly and got a good few points, so we´ll putthis behind us and move on to Assen. Both the guys can go great there, we´rereally looking forward to it.´


Max Biaggi rode a great race at Catalunya this afternoon, recovering froma frantic first lap to chase home Valentino Rossi. The Marlboro Yamaha Team star completed the first lap down in eighth, then steadily picked his way through to move into second with six laps remaining. He ended the racejust 2.579 seconds down on Rossi, with Loris Capirossi (Honda) making it an all-Italian podium, seven tenths adrift of Biaggi, the strongest-scoring rider of the past three races.

´I had a bad start and everyone was bumping into each other on the first lap, but it was a big race,´ said Biaggi, who had qualified third quickest. ´I didn´t sleep well last night because I was thinking so much about tyre choice, then the tyre we tried in warm-up wasn´t good, so I went for a harder rear. It started sliding after ten laps or so, but I kept working my way up. Ukawa was difficult to pass, that took a while, then I had a good fight for second with Capirossi. Over the last five laps I pushed hard to see if I could do it but the gap wasn´t really coming down, so I settled for second. I´m happy with the race and a big thank you to the team, they did a great job here.´


Carlos Checa and his crew spent most of this weekend working their way around chatter problems but the Marlboro Yamaha Team man didn´t have an easy ride today. Chatter - a hard-to-cure high-speed vibration at the tyre contact patch - makes it difficult to maintain good speed through theturns. Checa did his best to ride around the problem today, gaining a valuable eight World Championship points for eighth.

’When you can´t go through a corner at 100 per cent of your chosen speed, it´s very difficult to ride fast,´ he explained. ´It was impossible to keep the bike on line through the corners, the chatter was that bad, but things did get a little better as the fuel load lightened later in the race. I tried modifying my lines and worked to put more weight on the rear, and that was a little better. Eighth isn´t the kind of result I want, but we had problems here and we´ll make sure we don’t at Assen.´

500cc, 2001

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