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Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha


Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa returned from theirmidseason holidays in storming form today, Biaggi recording the fastest-everofficial lap of Brno to take provisional pole position, while Checa clockeda personal best for a spot on the provisional second row.

Biaggi´s near-perfect lap stunned the paddock, for he was almost a secondinside his pole time at last year´s Czech GP. ´That´s the kind of form he´son, Max is a very special rider,´ grinned Marlboro Yamaha Team manager GeoffCrust. ´We had a good test here with both guys at the end of last month andyou can see that Max is really enjoying himself out there, he´s riding on ahigh and that was an incredible lap time. We´re running the same set-up heused at the tests and concentrating on finding the best race tyres for theconditions. Carlos is going okay too, this isn´t his best track but he´s inthe second group at the moment and we´ll be working to move him up fromthere.´


Winner of two of the past three GPs and way ahead of the pack today, MaxBiaggi is on a roll as the season reaches its most crucial stage. TheMarlboro Yamaha Team man´s best lap in today´s first qualifying session was0.740 seconds ahead of his closest challenger and that´s the kind of gapthat usually covers the entire first two rows. Following his recent testshere, Biaggi is aiming to inflict another defeat on World Championshipleader Valentino Rossi (Honda), who now leads his arch-rival by just tenpoints.

´I´ve got to be happy with that, it was an unbelievable lap,´ said Biaggi,whose 2m 00.347s best was well inside his 2000 pole time of 2m 01.291s. ´Ifelt really confident because the bike´s working so well but I couldn´tbelieve the time when I went over the line. I think it was a nearly perfectlap, I say nearly because someone else could always go faster tomorrow.Psychologically they now know that such a time is possible, so I want toimprove further and do that kind of time consistently. I´m all the moresatisfied because the lap was nine tenths faster than last year wheneveryone was using qualifying tyres. So far we´re only using the 16.5in rearbut we may try the 17 tomorrow. I´m very motivated at the moment because thegap between me and Rossi is getting smaller and I want to get even closerhere.´


Carlos Checa ran in the leading group throughout much of the session,eventually ending up eighth, just 0.060 seconds behind Valentino Rossi. TheMarlboro Yamaha Team rider, who scored second behind team-mate Max Biaggi atlast month´s German GP, is confident of another good ride here. ´I´m fairlyhappy because I did my best-ever lap, half a second faster than during ourtests,´ he said. ´But there´s room for improvement. I´m struggling in thetransition area from brake-on to brake-off and I can´t keep my line offthrottle. We´ve been trying a few little suspension adjustments and I thinkwe should be able to find the answer for tomorrow.´

500cc, 2001

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