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Team Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: GIBERNAU TAKES TOP TEN FINISH AT BRNO

Team Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: GIBERNAU TAKES TOP TEN FINISH AT BRNO

Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki rider Sete Gibernau claimed another top ten finish in today´s Czech Republic GP at Brno, moving up one place in the World Championship order after placing eighth in a blazing hot race, watched by a crowd of 45,000 sun baked fans.

The day brought disappointment for World Champion Kenny Roberts, who led the opening two laps after a superb start from the second row. He was sixth on lap 14 of 19, only 11 seconds behind the leaders, but pulled in to the pits to retire on the next lap.

Kenny had qualified sixth, and Gibernau tenth for the race, tenth round of the championship and the first round after the long summer break. Both riders were using the revived pre-close-firing-order engine tested during the summer, and had switched to the latest 16.5-inch rear tyre for the race.

Roberts started well, but as the race wore on he lost position, and pulled into the pits to retire after 15 of 22 laps. Although there was no particular machine problem, he was frustrated by the prospect of a further deterioration in his position.

Sete was tenth at the end of the first lap, and fought hard to keep his place in a close pack of factory bikes. He gained two places by the misfortunes of other riders, but was disappointed after the finish, after having been fastest in the morning warm-up.

´I think we did all we could manage,´ said Gibernau. ´We demonstrated that we´re capable of being in the leading group, but at the moment we don´t have the material to be there at the end of the race. Compared with last year I was 28 seconds faster than Kenny was on basically the same bike, when he finished fourth. My race time today would have won last year by 15 seconds! I wanted to finish the race today, but it is frustrating not to have the option of trying to win.´

Team Manager Garry Taylor said: ´It seems Kenny was unhappy with the engine, and we must investigate the situation carefully. Clearly the machine has potential, which Kenny proved by leading the early laps, and holding a strong position for most of the first half of the race. Then he started to drop back, as we have seen before.

´We can understand Kenny´s frustration, but the whole team is disappointed that he gave up today while holding a top-ten position.´

The race was won by points leader Valentino Rossi, after early leader Max Biaggi crashed out. Rossi´s time was 30 seconds faster than last year´s winning time.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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