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Marlboro Yamaha men on rows one and three

Marlboro Yamaha men on rows one and three

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa were second and 11thfastest in this afternoon´s final qualifying session at warm and sunnyMotegi, giving them first and third-row starts for tomorrow´s Pacific GPgrid. Like their rivals, the pair found little grip around the Japanesetrack. At most GPs this year the pace has been dramatically faster than lastseason but today´s pole was just 0.154 seconds faster than last year´s andno one is certain why.´Everywhere this year many riders have been inside last season´s poleposition times, but not here,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Team director HiroyaAtsumi. ´The track doesn´t have the grip, it doesn´t feel like it did lasttime, maybe it´s something to do with car racing. This has made it quitedifficult for us to get the right set-up for both our riders. Max isn´t 100per cent happy, so we still have some work to do on his tyre choice andmachine balance. Carlos hasn´t been able to find a good compromise forbraking and turning performance, but we´ll work on improving the set-up ofboth his and Max´s machines for tomorrow.´BIAGGI JUST MISSES POLEMax Biaggi missed out on scoring his sixth successive pole position by afraction of a second at Motegi today. The Marlboro Yamaha Team man enjoyed afrantic battle for pole, dislodging Alex Barros (Honda) with five minutes togo, only to have the Brazilian´s team-mate Loris Capirossi (Honda) outdo hima minute later. Biaggi ended the session second, 0.448 seconds off pole, forhis 11th front-row start of 2001.´We´ve been struggling a little with set-up, even though we´ve tried lots ofideas to improve things,´ said the Italian. ´My number-one bike was workingslightly better this afternoon but that bike had a gearbox problem early inthe session, so I had to use my second machine which wasn´t set-up quite aswell. I never really like to use my second bike because it always feels abit different, but I just put my head down and it was good enough for secondfastest. I should have my number-one bike back for tomorrow morning´swarm-up session and hopefully it´ll work a bit better. It´s going to be ahard race - Capirossi has been fast all weekend. I´ll just do my best andtry to close the points gap on Rossi.´Biaggi currently lies second overall, 42 points behind Valentino Rossi(Honda).CHECA LOOKS FOR GRIPCarlos Checa will start tomorrow´s Pacific GP, round 13 of this year´s16-race campaign, from the third row of the grid. It´s the first time theMarlboro Yamaha Team rider has been off the first two rows since June´sCatalan Grand Prix. Like team-mate Max Biaggi and many of his rivals, Checaexpressed some bewilderment at Motegi´s track surface.´I can´t find enough grip,´ said the Spaniard who finished fourth here lastyear. ´I guess it´s something to do with the track condition and thataffects some riders more than others. We made our bike better than yesterdaybut I´m still having some chatter trouble, so I can´t maintain good rollingspeed through the corners. Also, I´m not getting enough rear-end feedback,and without that it´s very tricky to be aggressive with the throttle out ofthe turns. We´ll work some more tonight and see what we can do tomorrow.´CAPIROSSI SCORES THIRD POLEHard-riding Loris Capirossi (Honda) was rewarded with his third poleposition of 2001 at Motegi, riding a super-aggressive lap to beat MaxBiaggi. Today´s performance makes the Italian favourite for tomorrow´sPacific Grand Prix. ´I´m very happy to be on pole again, especially since Idid the time with a race tyre,´ said Capirossi, who scored his other 2001poles at Suzuka and Assen but has yet to win a race this year. ´I´mexperiencing a little movement from the front on the way into corners but wewon´t mess around with the set-up tonight because rear-end traction is moreimportant here.´ROSSI - LAST MAN ON FRONT ROWWorld Championship leader Valentino Rossi (Honda) just squeezed on to thefront row, with four fastest time. ´We´ve got plenty of p

500cc, 2001

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