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Marlboro Yamaha Men have torrid day at boiling Sepang

Marlboro Yamaha Men have torrid day at boiling Sepang

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa had a fraught finalqualifying session at boiling-hot Sepang this afternoon, Biaggi slipping tothird following a tumble and Checa struggling to 13th.

In withering heat and humidity the pair did their best to prepare forthe Malaysian GP, despite another morning session run mostly in the damp.Tomorrow´s race, round 15 of the 2001 World Championship, is likely to betheir toughest physical challenge of the year. ´Today wasn´t such a goodday, so we have a lot of work ahead of us tonight,´ said Marlboro YamahaTeam director Hiroya Atsumi. ´It looked like Max got the front end bouncingon some bumps going into the final hairpin, that´s why he fell. His set-upis so-so but Carlos seems to have more of a problem here. It´s strangebecause he finished second at the last two races at this track but he doesn´t feel happy with the balance of his bike at the moment.´

BIAGGI THIRD AFTER FALLSecond fastest yesterday, Max Biaggi slipped to third in this afternoon´sfinal Sepang qualifier after a minor tumble 20 minutes before the chequeredflag. The Marlboro Yamaha Team rider was able to continue the session butunable to improve on his Friday best. Nevertheless he has qualified almost asecond faster than he qualified for this event last year.

´I was trying to get myself into a good rhythm but the bike was movingaround and I lost the front going into the final turn,´ said the Italian.´It´s been a difficult day, this track is pretty slippery in the heat but Itried my best, so I´m a little angry after the crash. Anyway, I got back tothe pits and waited until my bike was ready but I´d lost some confidence, soI wasn´t able to improve on yesterday´s time. But we´re still on the frontrow and that´s good.´

CHECA SLIPS TO ROW FOURCarlos Checa didn´t have the best of Saturdays at Sepang. Struggling to getcomfortable around the sweeping Malaysian track, he slipped to 13thquickest.

´We´ve tried various different settings to improve things but I justdon´t feel good on the bike here,´ said the Marlboro Yamaha Team man who hadbeen tenth in the opening qualifying session here. ´Yesterday was bad and wethought we´d make some progress today. I´m still getting quite a bit ofchatter in a few corners and that´s not helping. We´ll see what we can dowith the set-up in the morning warm-up but I´m not expecting any miracles. I´ll just go out and get the most points I can.´

500cc, 2001

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