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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

The weather continues to respect the Community of Valencia Grand Prix, with the exception of the 500 final practice session being cut short by five minutes due to a short rainshower. But the heavy rain that was forecasted and feared, didn´t arrived at the circuit of Valencia today, which allowed Team Repsol YPF Honda rider Alex Crivillé to recover from yesterday´s disappointing position on the starting grid, and to move up to sixth place. Seven minutes from the end, Alex was even holding third spot, but lost this position in hardly one minute when he returned to the pits for his last tyre change. His team-mate Tohru Ukawa got caught out by the rain shower today, dropping from fifth yesterday to tenth this afternoon.

Alex Crivillé 6º - 1´35.31927 laps, 108 Km

´It´s impressive how close together and how competitive the top ten riders are, the differences in the lap times are minimal. In general, the pace is very high this season. This afternoon, I found myself in third position at one stage. I returned to the garage for a tyre change, and before I could blink, I was down in sixth position. The slightest diversion can throw you from the front row back to the third row on the grid in an instant. Yesterday´s practice wasn´t very good, we started with a crash that slowed us down in the morning, and in the afternoon I lacked confidence in the front end and there was no way to improve the lap times. Biaggi and Rossi are very strong and were riding very fast, but the rest of the group is very close together in terms of lap times.´

Tohru Ukawa 10º - 1´35.45228 laps, 112 Km

´It´s a shame, a good position on the grid slipped through our fingers, but at the same time I´m calm because we have a good pace for the race. Tomorrow, the times will be in the ´35.5´s or low 36´s, and this is a pace that I can keep easily. I think that we are safe in our tyre choice for the race, but these tyres are not suitable to push for lap times like we saw them at the end of the session. At about ten minutes from the end, I went out with a softer tyre compound in order to make sure of a good grid position, but it started to rain straight after that, and I couldn´t continue to ride on the damp track. This track is very twisty, and I have to start from third row, so I´m well aware that a good result will depend from a good start.´

500cc, 2001

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