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Marlboro Yamaha men in second and tenth

Marlboro Yamaha men in second and tenth

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa rode throughoppressive heat and humidity to record second and tenth-fastest times inthis afternoon´s opening Malaysian GP qualifying session.

Biaggi battled for provisional pole throughout the later stages of theouting while Checa focused on dialling out some minor set-up difficulties.

´Max was the fastest guy here during winter tests, but now some of theother riders are very fast too,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Team director HiroyaAtsumi. ´We´ve been working with Max to improve his machine balance andfeedback, but most of all we´ve been working on tyre endurance. It´s so hothere and that makes life hard for the tyres, so we do whatever we can dowith settings to make life easier for the tyres. Carlos is still looking forthe correct bike balance. We made a mistake with his set-up in Australia, sowe´ve gone back to the normal way for here, and now we´re just fine tuningthat.´

BIAGGI VIES FOR POLE

Max Biaggi rode a scintillating lap of Sepang this afternoon to go to thetop of first qualifying, but by the end of the session he´d been pipped forprovisional pole. The Marlboro Yamaha Team star worked hard throughout theday, revelling in the withering heat, and working towards the ideal set-upfor Sunday´s race which will test riders, bikes and tyres to the very limit.

´This morning´s rain meant we´ve only really had one practice sessionso far,´ said Biaggi. ´But we managed to try a few different settings, thendecided on one and then went for a fast lap at the end. Engines tend tosuffer in this kind of heat, so tomorrow we´ll work on carburation toimprove performance. Tyres are the other concern, after a few laps you slidearound a lot, and it´s important to find a chassis set-up that´s kind totyres over race distance. The weather conditions also make this one of themost difficult races of the year for us, but if you work-out, this is whenyou feel the benefit. It´s so hot that it´s difficult to breathe, the onlytime you can really get your breath is down the two big straights.´

CHATTER FOR CHECA

Carlos Checa could only manage tenth quickest in today´s opening qualifierat Sepang. The Spaniard is working to cure chatter problems that arehampering him through the track´s many long corners.

´I seem to have found myself in a bit of a hole at the moment,´ saidthe Marlboro Yamaha Team rider, who also had difficult weekends at theMotegi and Phillip Island GPs. ´The main concern here is chatter, so far we´ve only found one tyre combination that helps cure the problem. We didimprove the steering after this morning but the chatter is preventing mefrom going any faster. It seems to be a problem for me at any track wherethere are long corners which means I have to keep the bike on its side forlong periods of time. Anyway, we´ll forget today and start working ontomorrow.´

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