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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

Team Repsol YPF Honda rider Tohru Ukawa turned the three days of testing, that he had completed at the official IRTA session back February, into a great performance in today´s final qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix, putting in the fourth best time and his bike onto the front row of the grid. His team-mate Alex Crivillé couldn´t match this performance and will start from the third row of the grid after setting the twelfth best time. Crivillé, who has improved by more than a second in comparison to yesterday, believes that he can further fine-tune the set-up of his bike and fight for the podium again. This is the goal of Tohru Ukawa, too, who is chasing his second podium finish in Estoril.

Tohru Ukawa 4th : 1´40.53129 laps, 121 Km

´Obviously, I´m quite happy with this result, as I hardly remember the last time that I started from the front row of the grid. This afternoon, we finally managed to find a good balance in the set-up of my bike, which transforms into a much safer way of riding for myself. Now I can go into the corners with a safety margin, the combination of tyres, chassis and suspensions is working on a high level. This will be the first time for me to start from the front row in a 500 GP, and I hope to match this with a good result. In the free practice session, things didn´t go well at all, but in the afternoon, we managed to get the set-up right and the situation changed for the better. We concentrated on finding the best set of tyres for the race, and I think I achieved that.´

Alex Crivillé 12th : 1´41.03728 laps, 117 Km

´There is little to say, I am just nine tenths of a second behind the best time, but I´m still in a position way back on the grid. The times here are very close, there is hardly a second separating the first twelve in the classification. I didn´t get comfortable riding, neither in the morning, nor in the afternoon, and now we are looking for ways to improve the bike. We will try some more changes in tomorrow´s warm-up session in order to see if we can get the set-up right for the race. Ukawa made his best time behind me and is now fourth on the grid, but I didn´t find anybody to follow on the last laps and I couldn´t improve my time. To win here will be very difficult, but if we can improve the bike I´m sure that I can fight for the popdium.´

500cc, 2001

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