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Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha


Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Max Biaggi´s World Championship hopes took aserious dent in this afternoon´s incident-packed Marlboro Portuguese GrandPrix. The Italian crashed while on course for a podium finish and though heremounted to finish fifth, he now trails race winner and series leaderValentino Rossi (Honda) by 43 points with five races to go. Marlboro YamahaTeam partner Carlos Checa did at least give the team something to cheerabout, riding to fourth in blazing hot conditions.

´That was a nightmare,´ said team manager Geoff Crust. ´Max crashedfor the second race in a row but once again he showed his determination bygetting back on board. It will be hard for us to come back from here andchallenge Rossi for the title, but we won´t give up until it´s over. Carlosrode a good race, fighting hard after that chaotic first lap. If he´d gotaway cleanly I think he could´ve raced McCoy for third.´


Max Biaggi crashed out of a sure third place with seven laps to go atEstoril today, then dragged his Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR out of the dirt tofight back to finish fifth after a brief skirmish with fellow YZR riderNori Haga. It was a typical display of dogged determination from theItalian who tumbled out of the lead of the Czech GP two weeks ago,remounting to finish tenth. But the two crashes have done no good toBiaggi´s title chances.

´It was another strange crash,´ said the former 250 champ whostarted from pole position for the fourth successive race and led theopening two laps. ´Just like Brno, I wasn´t doing anything different atthat corner, the front just let go mid-turn. On the grid we´d changed therear tyre because the temperature was so much higher than during warm-up,but that didn´t have anything to do with the fall. Early on, when I waschasing Rossi and Capirossi, I was struggling to stay with them down thestraight. Before the race I said I was looking for a podium finish and I´dcontented myself with third, so I´m really disappointed not to have gotthird. We stay here for testing tomorrow, then we go to Valencia in twoweeks, where we´ll try to win again.´


Carlos Checa strengthened his World Championship position with a fine rideto fourth in oppressive heat at Estoril. The Marlboro Yamaha Team rideravoided the first-turn chaos that claimed Tohru Ukawa (Honda), Alex Barros(Honda) and Norick Abe (Yamaha) but did collide with World Champion KennyRoberts (Suzuki) at the same moment. He completed the first lap down ineighth and had to ride hard to make progress around a track that makespassing extra difficult.

´The first turn was crazy, Roberts came up the inside and hetouched my leg, I still have the tyre mark on my leathers,´ smiled asweat-drenched Checa. ´I didn´t see what happened with Abe and the othersbut I definitely didn´t come out of it the best. I caught Haga after acouple of laps but had to fight hard to get away from him. I wanted tocatch McCoy, I was running a good pace, but I´d lost too much time. Thebike was pretty good, after we´d had some problems in warm-up, and we´ll dosome more work on settings when we stay here for tests tomorrow.´

500cc, 2001

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