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Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa were fourth andtenth in this afternoon´s opening qualifying session for the Pacific GrandPrix, run in mild autumnal weather at Twin Ring Motegi.

After rain effectively robbed the pair of this morning´s ´free´ session,they spent this afternoon adjusting chassis settings for Motegi´s specialstop-and-go characteristics.

´This session was our first chance to work on dry-weather settings, so wehope it stays dry throughout tomorrow,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Team directorHiroya Atsumi. ´We still have some work to do to find the correct chassisbalance for this track and for both our riders. Carlos seems quite happy with the new cylinders, which we have created to improve acceleration from bottom-to-medium rpm, that´s from around 7000rpm and up. Max didn´t run the cylinders this afternoon, he was more concerned with improving the chassis balance of his machines.´


Like his rivals, Max Biaggi has only had one dry session today, so he´sstill a way away from finding the ideal Motegi set-up for his MarlboroYamaha Team YZR500s. Nevertheless the former 250 king, who´s going for hissixth successive pole position, was able to challenge for a slot of the provisional front row throughout the session, ending up fourth.

´We´re struggling to find a good set-up, so considering that it´s good to beon the front row,´ said the Italian. ´We started with the settings we ranlast year but for some reason the balance doesn´t feel right, and the dataconfirms that the suspension isn´t working the same as last time we werehere. We´ll work overnight to improve the bike and I feel positive, I thinkwe can make things quite a bit better.´


Carlos Checa, second highest-scoring rider at the last four races, couldonly manage tenth at Motegi this afternoon but is sure he´ll be able to moveup the order in tomorrow afternoon´s final qualifying session. As usual, theMarlboro Yamaha Team rider is focusing on adjusting the rear end of hisYZR500 to suit his loose-riding corner-exit style.

´The track temperature is pretty low here, which tends to reduce the amountof feeling you get from the bike and the tyres,´ said the Spaniard. ´Thisafternoon the rear end was going from grip to no grip a bit more quicklythan I´d like. During the early stages of this afternoon´s session I hadquite a few near-highsides, so we´ve been working at improving feedback. Ifit´s dry tomorrow I´m hopeful that we can get a lot closer to the front.´

500cc, 2001

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