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Team Repsol YPF Honda

Team Repsol YPF Honda

Both riders of Team Repsol YPF Honda, Alex Crivillé and Tohru Ukawa, will start tomorrow´s MalaysianGrand Prix from the third row of the grid, after havingqualified in eleventh and 12th position. The blisteringheat on the circuit of Sepang, and the rain that fellduring the first hour of practice in the morning, madethe asphalt much more slippery than yesterday. As aconsequence, there were many crashes, and only veryfew riders were able to improve their lap times in the second official qualifying session in the afternoon. Technicians and riders therefore concentrated onthe search for race tyres that would offer both grip and endurance.

Alex Criville 11th - 2´06.98421 laps, 116 Km

´The track is inworse conditionsthan yesterday.It´s very slippery which has caused many crashes and which has allowedonly very few riders to improve their lap times. I´ve been able to take halfa second off my best time from yesterday, but this wasn´t enough to makesure of a second row start. I was also able to cut the time difference to thefront runners, but we are still a little bit too far behind. In the warm-uptomorrow, we will try some more changes on the set-up in order to see ifwe can improve the behaviour of my bike and get rid of the front endchatter. Obviously, the start will be very important again, but it will also becrucial to maintain a constant pace despite the heat.´

Tohru Ukawa 12th - 2´07.055 21 laps, 116 Km

´I improved mylap times but itwasn´t enough.The asphalt offers less grip today, which caused many crashes, apartfrom the fact that this was a major handicap in the hunt for better laptimes. We started to work with a rear tyre that I will use in the race forsure, and we did an endurance test with several consecutive laps. Afterthat, we used a tyre with a slightly harder compound, the same type thatCapirossi had mounted yesterday when he took pole, but we ran into a lotof front end chatter again, so we went back to what we had. In the righthand corner before the finish straight, I had a big moment when I lost thefront, but fortunately I was able to save it in the last moment. The track isvery slippery, and it is easy to crash.´

500cc, 2001

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