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Marlboro Yamaha men second and fifth at Donington

Marlboro Yamaha men second and fifth at Donington

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa finished a determined second and fifth in today´s British GP, run in cool, overcast conditions before an enthusiastic crowd of 40,000 fans. The race marked the halfway point in this year´s 500 World Championship, Biaggi coming home a close second to series leader Valentino Rossi (Honda).

´Max rode a good race but it seems like Rossi was too strong for us today,´ said Yamaha 500 GP project leader Masahiko Nakajima. ´Maybe our bike set-up wasn´t quite good enough to stop Rossi. Max had lots of confidence on Friday but yesterday´s weather changed everything and we were a little confused with our final settings. We´ve made good progress with Carlos over the past two or three races and he feels more confident on the bike and positive about the future.´


Max Biaggi took a hard-fought second place in today´s tension-packed British GP. Once again the Marlboro Yamaha Team man was locked in battle with title rival Valentino Rossi (Honda) but while he defeated his fellow Italian last weekend, Biaggi had to be happy with second. Biaggi started the race from pole, followed World Champion Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) in the early laps before moving ahead mid-race. But Rossi assumed dominance at two-thirds distance, and, try as he might, Biaggi couldn´t get close enough to counter attack. He ended the race 1.794 seconds behind the World Championship leader and goes into the second half of the series 26 points down.

´I did all I could, I tried 100 per cent,´ said Biaggi. ´I played my own game. My start wasn´t so bad and Roberts had a good rhythm early on, but when he lost some speed I started to push, putting in some good, consistent laps. But then Barros closed the gap and Rossi was coming too, they were both running a very quick pace. When he overtook me it was difficult to stay with him, I was losing a little time at a few points around the track. It was quite hard but I did my best. Rossi started from 11th and won, so you can see the potential of him and his bike. It´s a hard combination to beat.´


Carlos Checa rode a great race to fifth, running a fast pace aboard his Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR500. Eighth at the end of the first lap after his third-row start, the Spaniard came through in fine style to score his best result since May´s French GP, where he was second behind team-mate Max Biaggi.

´We´ve had a few tough races which put us behind, but I feel we´re making progress again,´ said Checa. ´Last week we made some important improvements to the bike and we improved the chassis here too. We tried some new settings for the warm-up which were great for the front but gave me some chatter at the rear, so we went back to yesterday´s set-up for the race to be safe. I passed a few people early on but I wasn´t taking risks, just going step by step. When Rossi came past I tried to follow him but the front folded really badly at one turn, I only saved a crash by keeping the bike up on my knee. I´m quite satisfied with the result, the team worked really well this weekend, now we need to maintain progress in Germany.´

500cc, 2001

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