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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

Tohru Ukawa, who rode his second home Grand Prix of the year, put his crash at the Suzuka race back in April behind himself, and fought his way through to a fine fifth place in front of his Japanese fans. After a poor start from the third row of the grid, the Japanese rider completed lap one in eleventh place. On the last laps, Tohru Ukawa passed Olivier Jacque, Shinya Nakano, Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau, and finished three tenths of a second ahead of this group in fifth positioin. His team-mate Alex Crivillé, who was physically handicapped, returned from lap one in sixteenth spot, and finished the race in eleventh place.

Tohru Ukawa:´I have to do something to improve my starts, because once again, I lost positions at the beginning of the race. Up to half the race distance, I was riding in nineth and tenth position, but as the fuel tank got lighter, I started to get faster. This was a repetition of the last races: On the first laps, I ride quite uncomfortably with a full tank, and the more fuel is being burnt, the faster I can go to recover positions. I think that I rode a good race, even though I can´t be happy with the result, because I hoped to get on the podium today. The positive aspect of the past few races is that we have at least finished within the first 5, 6 positions.´

Alex Crivillé: ´I had a very poor start, and I´m not in good physical shape, either. Before the start, I had to get some injections into the ribs that I injured last week, and together with a stomach problem that I´ve had since I arrived here in Japan, I was basically without any strength, and very dehydrated. When you are in such poor physical conditions, you certainly can’t go the way you´d like in the race. After starting that far back in the field, I saw that I had no chance to get a good result, and with my position in the race, it wasn´t worth to take any risks in order to get past Kagayama. In such a situation and without any physical strength, it is easy to make a mistake and get injured, so I preferred to concentrate on just finishing the race. It was a difficult weekend that I would like to forget quickly.´

500cc, 2001

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