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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

This morning´s practice session was hardly of any use for the riders who completed just ten laps on the Australian track, because after that, strong gushes of wind and unpredictable rain showers cut the session short. But in the afternoon, the weather conditons were more stable, and the practice of the 500 cc category returned to normality. Alex Crivillé, who is still handicapped by the injury on the right hand side of his rib cage, but who has recovered from his stomach infection, is trying to find back to his rhythm on a circuit that he knows very well, and qualified in 12th place so far. His team mate Tohru Ukawa, who arrived at Phillip Island with the encouragement of his fifth place at his home Grand Prix in Japan, had to settle for 15th and hopes to solve the front end chatter problem on his bike and to move up on the grid tomorrow.

Alex Crivillé 12º - 1´35.45827 laps, 120 Km

´These were very special practice sessions, especially this morning, because repeatedly the sun came out, then it rained again, then the track dried up, and then the rain returned with a vengeance. In the afternoon, things were better, but the strong and gusty wind was very disturbing. I did many kilometres on this circuit and I like it, but physically, I´m not well yet, my ribs are still hurting, and I lose time during direction changes because I can´t use my body to move the motorcycle from one side to the other. I also have to repeat that I don´t feel comfortable on the bike, but as much as we try, we just don´t find solutions. Now we have to see if the weather improves and if I can ride a good race on Sunday. As I said before, this is a circuit on which a rode a lot, and on where I did fantastic races.´

Tohru Ukawa 15º - 1´35.96926 laps, 115 Km

´It wasn´t a good first day, the weather was very unstable, it is cold and a strong wind was blowing all day long, gusting from the sea which was very disturbing. And once again, strong front end chatter returned which we haven´t been able to eliminate so far, but we are working on that and I am confident that we can we can improve tomorrow. We also have to make some changes in order to get more front end stability, because the front end was shaking violently due to the wind and due to the suspension set-up. Another point on which we have to work tomorrow is the tyre choice, because at the moment, we don´t have a clue of which compound to use in the race.´

500cc, 2001

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