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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

This morning´s free practice session seemed to forecast a good first qualifying for the two riders of Team Repsol YPF Honda. But in the afternoon, both Tohru Ukawa and Alex Crivillé, who had taken fifth and sixth place in the morning, dropped back in the classification for different reasons. Whereas Ukawa and his team of technicians went the wrong way in setting up his Honda NSR, Alex Crivillé suffered a light crash ten minutes after the beginning of the session. Crivillé's number one-bike was damaged in the crash, which forced the Repsol YPF Honda rider to go back out with his spare bike. The times in today´s qualifying session were very close once again, with twelve riders within just one second. Valentino Rossi took provisional pole position, ahead of Norick Abe who suffered a nasty and spectacular crash ten minutes from the end, and Max Biaggi in third place. Ukawa was 13th and Crivillé 15th.

Tohru Ukawa 13th : 1´41.83228 laps, 117 Km

´Things went well in the morning for us, the motorcycle worked well, and we put in good lap times. But in the afternoon, we made big changes in the set-up of the bike and we were wrong with our assumptions, therefore we haven´t been able to repeat our morning performance. But this doesn´t worry me because we know exactly where we went wrong, so for tomorrow we´ll just take the same way back that led into a dead end today, even though we will stick to some of the changes. I´m optimistic because I´ve returned to ride with confidence which allows me to ride much safer and faster. Tomorrow, we´ll have to bring the lap times down, and for Sunday, I am confident to make a race like the one in Brno again. We are on a good track, and I know that we can keep going this way.´

Alex Crivillé 15th : 1´42.17623 laps, 96 Km

´My crash this afternoon wasn´t necessary. I made a mistake, the front tyre slid away, and I went down. The practice session was complicated after that, because I damaged my number one bike, and I had to complete the session with just one motorcycle only. This morning´s practice session had gone quite well, even though I had to spend ten minutes in the garage due to an error in the electronic configuration of both bikes. Our plan today was to work with two bikes that were set up very differently, which allowed us to make valuable comparisons. Tomorrow, we´ll use two bikes with the same settings. I´m calm because we know what went wrong and at which points of the track I can go faster.´

500cc, 2001

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