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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

The rain that came down on the Japanese circuit of Motegi in the morning fortunately stopped before the first timed practice sessions at the Pacific Grand Prix. Alex Crivillé, who is back in action aboard his Repsol YPF Honda after the crash he suffered when fighting for the lead in the Community of Valencia Grand Prix, had to settle for a distant sixteenth position due to several set-backs with the set-up of his bike, and due to some physical problems. His team-mate Tohru Ukawa, who slid off the track this morning when he lost the front of his bike, hasn´t been able to find the best set-up for this track, either. He qualified in fourteenth position so far, and hopes to improve his lap times tomorrow.

Tohru Ukawa: ´We made a bad tyre choice, and this made us drop back that much on the starting grid. This morning, the rain stopped us from working on the set-up of the bike and from doing all the necessary changes on the suspension settings and from chosing the tyres. In the afternoon, we started out well into the session, we made steady progress in terms of lap times, and we worked step by step. But we had to do an endless amount of test runs. We repeatedly chose tyres that made us lose the right direction, and from this moment on, everything got complicated. But nevertheless, I´m optimistic and I have a positive outlook, as I´m racing at home in front of the Japanese fans which always gives me extra motivation in order to achieve a good result.´

Alex Criville: ´Bad, very bad indeed. It rained in the morning, and in the official afternoon session, we didn´t get the motorcycle to steer the way I needed it, and I didn´t feel good myself, either. Some days ago, when I was practising with my trial bike, I had a crash and suffered a heavy blow to the righthand side of my my rib cage. This is not an excuse for a position that way back on the grid, but it is a factor that contributes to me not having a good feeling on the bike. I´m not comfortable, and the motorcycle has some chatter, therefor I couldn’t do any better. I hope that the weather remains dry tomorrow and that we will be able to improve the set-up. If we achieve that, I am sure that we can move up some positions on the grid.´

500cc, 2001

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