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Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: NEW LOOK SUZUKI FAST AT VALENCIA

Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: NEW LOOK SUZUKI FAST AT VALENCIA

Team Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki rider Sete Gibernau was fourth fastest in today´s first qualifying session for Sunday´s GP of Valencia - claiming a place on the front row of the provisional starting grid, with team-mate Kenny Roberts Junior seventh-fastest, on the second row.

There is one more practice session remaining, but with rain forecast for tomorrow, riders and team were treating this session as crucial, and grid positions might well stand for Sunday´s race - giving Gibernau his first front-row start since joining Suzuki at the beginning of this year.

Both riders were using the latest aerodynamic fairing for the first time, the Suzuki´s new look incorporating twin front air intakes, feeding a revised airbox - the latest in a programme of improvements to the machine.

Conditions today were hot and sunny, and times were close, with the first 12 riders within one second of provisional pole time. But nobody had yet equalled last year´s pole position time, set by Kenny Roberts on the Suzuki in a race that proved crucial to the American´s successful World Championship campaign.

Provisional pole position went to series leader Valentino Rossi.

SETE GIBERNAU - Fourth Position, 1:35.634

I´ve never been here before with the Suzuki, so I have to be pleased with the time and position. First, I want to thank Suzuki for the effort they are putting in, as well as my team. I wouldn´t say we are already there with the bike. Tomorrow, if it is dry, the other riders will go faster, and we will need to go faster as well. I need to keep the pace all weekend. We still lack a little in the way of throttle connection, which we are working to improve. If we are successful, then we´ll need to make more suspension changes to match. The bike´s not bad today. But as always we need to keep our heads down and work to continue the improvement.

KENNY ROBERTS - Seventh Position, 1:35.936

It´s as in Portugal - I´m not comfortable with the bike. At the end we put in a soft tyre, and it just got destroyed. There´s some setting we´ve put into the bike that it doesn´t like, and we need to sit down and work through everything to try and figure out exactly what it is. I need to feel comfortable, and to have more feel from the bike.

WARREN WILLING - Technical Adviser

The main aim here is to try and get a good balance, so the bike brakes well and turns well. There are several corners where you brake with the bike leaned over on its side, and stability is very important. We´re using basically the same settings as at Estoril.

Sete is using the 180-degree motor and Kenny the 90-degree. It´s down to rider preference, but I believe Kenny would use the 180 as well if it wasn´t for the vibration. Sete believes that overall there are more advantages than disadvantages with the 180 motor, and I tend to agree with him.

500cc, 2001

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