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Suzuki fighters hope for better things to come

Suzuki fighters hope for better things to come

Team Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau placed 11th and 13th fastest in today´s first qualifying session for Sunday´s Malaysian GP. Both had expected better, and both believe that tomorrow will bring improved fortunes.

The first day of practice started damp, but by the afternoon was dry and hot, with baking sunshine – hot enough to affect engine and tyre performance, and complicate the technical equation.

Roberts, lap record holder and double winner at the Sepang circuit, had switched to a 17-inch rear tyre in a bid to repeat his previous form here. So far, however, the lap time had proved elusive.

Gibernau´s session was spoiled by a puzzling engine problem, that meant neither of his two machines would run right. Race engineer Stuart Shenton suspected a carburation glitch.

One more day of practice remains before Sunday´s race, the 15th of 16 rounds in the 2001 season.

KENNY ROBERTS – 11th Position, 2:07.924

We´re at a circuit we´ve enjoyed in the past, and where the bike has gone well in the past. The end result so far has been consistent with where we´ve been lately. I´m using a 17-inch rear tyre again, as before here, but the bike I´m riding right now seems very critical to any changes we make. We fix one problem, but create another. We need to improve to where we were last year, running 2:06s. We´ll see tomorrow whether that´s possible, with the bike we have now, and the tyres I´m using now.

SETE GIBERNAU – 13th Position, 2:08.188

That was a spoiled session. Neither of my engines were working right, and apart from that we´re struggling with chassis set up. I´m sure my guys will find out what the engine problem is, then we can get to work on the other aspects. It couldn´t be worse than it is now, so the only thing that can happen is that it will get better.

STUART SHENTON – Race Engineer to Sete Gibernau

Both of Sete´s engines were running inconsistently, and we have to look at why. We can see something of what is happening from the data, but we´ll have to find the answer ourselves. We´re not doing anything different from the previous races, but I have a few suspicions that the carburation is not right. We have to be confident that what we do will fix the problem.

500cc, 2001

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