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Aprilia 250

Aprilia 250

Even though he still strongly feels the consequences of the crash last Sunday in Motegi, Marco Melandri grit his teeth this morning in the wet and went out to practice, although suffering a lot. The fracture of the third metacarpal bone in his right hand makes it impossible for him to apply the necessary pressure to dominate his RSW 250. But whereas it was at least possible to ride in the wet as the riding is softer and less physical in the rain, in the afternoon in the dry, with the motorcycle more nervous and more abrupt in its reactions, the resistance of the hand was much less even though he wore a special glove that was made for him especially and set from Italy by Speedy. Macio had to give in to the pain even though he had received pain-killing injections. Now he resigned from this race in order to be better prepared for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday October 21st and for the last race in Rio de Janeiro on the 3rd of November. Macio’s help could be crucial for Aprilia who is fighting with Tetsuya Harada for both the rider’s and the constructor’s Championship. A short plaster was put on Marco Melandri’s right hand.

Tetsuya Harada took third place in first qualifying. He was consistently fast but was slowed on his last lap by De Puniet when he was actually ahead of Katoh, but he took it philosophically: Old McWilliams is fourth after having had pole at the last two Australian GP’s.

Tetsuya Harada (MS Aprilia Racing) #31Third Time in 1’35»352

«The rear of the bike was sliding, and I didn’t have a lot of feeling. We have to find more grip on the rear. De Puniet slowed me down on the last lap, but these things happen, practice sessions are like that. It’s still not bad considering I was always riding below 1’35». The wind is tiring but with the holes in my faring the effect is not so bad

Jeremy McWilliams (MS Aprilia Racing) #99Fourth time in 1’36»017

«We haven’t found the right set up: The problem is that the front end of the motorcycle doesn’t keep the line and runs wide and so it’s not very precise to steer and the rear was sliding a lot. I’m hoping for a dry day tomorrow because I know that I can go much faster than today. Today it was too windy and there were too many slow riders on the track. But at least I’m on the first row».

Marco «Macio» Melandri (MS Aprilia Racing) # 526th time in 1’40»08

5«While I was riding I was getting cramps but the real problem was when I hit a bump on the straight in fourth gear and this manoeuvre gave me a jerk to my wrist that was so painful that I had to slow down. I don’t have enough strength to ride on at the level that I would like and the pain is almost insufferable. The hand was swelling and there is little that I can do. I think that I will watch these races as a spectator and take advantage of the next two days with intensive treatments by the doctors and physiotherapist of the clinica Mobile».

Tags:
250cc, 2001, Qantas Australian Grand Prix, QP1

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