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Unhappy day for Marlboro Yamaha men

Unhappy day for Marlboro Yamaha men

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi had a difficult raceat Motegi this afternoon, Biaggi tumbling out of the lead while Checa couldonly manage a seventh-place finish. Biaggi´s crash all but ended the Italian´s brave attempt on this year´s 500 World Championship crown, which nowlooks certain to go to Motegi winner Valentino Rossi (Honda).

´It´s not been a happy day for us,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Team manager GeoffCrust. ´It was disappointing for Max because he was leading the race andgoing fast. He chose to run a 17in rear and we could see that Rossi wasstruggling to keep up through certain sections of the track. He was tryingvery hard, lost the front and down he went. The one good thing is that he´snot hurt, just frustrated. You´d have to be something of an optimist to keepthinking about the World Championship, so we´ll just try and finish theseason with the best results we can. Carlos had some trouble in practice butneither he nor his team gave up. They kept working and by warm-up they´dfound a solution to their problems. Considering he was 13th after one lap, Ithink he rode a good race.´

CHECA IMPROVES TO SEVENTH

Carlos Checa made good work of a difficult weekend at Motegi today,finishing a hard-charging seventh after starting from 11th on the grid.During practice the Marlboro Yamaha Team rider struggled to find a goodset-up for this awkward stop-and-go track but his commitment and sometireless work from his crew brought a breakthrough during this morning´swarm-up session.

´We had a difficult time with settings here but my mechanics did a great joband the bike wasn´t so bad this morning,´ said the Spaniard. ´The engine wasbetter and I was getting less chatter, though things were difficult duringthe early laps when the full fuel load was causing the front to push. Withless fuel the bike got better, the tyres were good and I was able to runquite a good pace. This has been a weekend of experience for us, but I thinkit´s good to come from 13th on lap one to seventh.´

BIAGGI LEADS THEN FALLS

Max Biaggi grabbed the lead on the first lap and stayed there until he slidoff five laps later. It was another display of ultra-determined riding fromthe Marlboro Yamaha Team man who was doing everything he could to break hispursuer, Valentino Rossi. Biaggi lost the front through the 160kmh lefthander that leads into the track´s final chicane, and though he was unhurt,his YZR500 was too badly damaged for him to continue.

´There´s nothing to say really,´ said an understandably glum Biaggi. ´I washaving to ride over the limit to stay ahead of Rossi, so there´s no marginand that´s when things like this can happen. Just like the last time I fell,I was doing nothing different through that corner from the laps before, butthe front just let go. It was another fall that we can´t explain. All I cansay is that I had to try everything I could. I used a 17-inch rear tyre totry and give myself some form of advantage over the others but that hadnothing really to do with the fall. I am very frustrated and upset. I´llstill give 100% for the last races but also I´ll start looking to thefuture.´

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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