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Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi quickly got togrips with the slippery Jacarepagua circuit this afternoon, clocking sixthand eighth quickest times in the opening qualifying session for theseason-ending Rio GP.

The Brazilian circuit is one of the more slippery and bumpy trackson the GP calendar and Checa was one of several men to slide off during thesession.

´Both our guys have been trying to find the track´s grip level, andI guess Carlos found it!´ smiled Marlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust.´He went down when he flicked into a corner and lost the front, but afterthat he was pretty happy with his other machine. I think people forget howbumpy this track is, and it´s definitely quite slippery too, though itshould get better as more rubber gets laid down. Max has been workingtowards a set-up that doesn´t upset the bike so much, he´s been looking forstability on the bumps.´


Carlos Checa slid off in the early stages of today´s session but bouncedback on his other bike, battling for a place on the provisional front rowand eventually ending up sixth, just 0.627 seconds off pole.

´We tried a front tyre with a different casing and it didn´t workthe way we wanted it to,´ said the Marlboro Yamaha Team man. ´I flickedinto a turn and lost the front as I hit maximum lean. I think some of theproblem comes from the rear, because we´ve now got so much rear grip, andthis is something we´re working on with Michelin. So far the lap timesaren´t as fast as last year´s but I think that´s just grip; this trackdoesn´t get used much, so the asphalt is a bit dirty. I´m happy enoughthough, the bike seems quite good and I don´t think we´ll need to make anychanges to geometry, pivot points and so on, we can just focus on normalchanges, getting the suspension balance and engine settings right for therace.´


Max Biaggi was eighth fastest at Rio today, preferring a more tentativeapproach to the first day of qualifying. The Marlboro Yamaha Team man, whohas scored more pole positions than anyone else so far this season, expectsthe pace to increase tomorrow as the circuit´s grip level increases.

´This track seems very slippery and more bumpy than last year, soit´s important to find the right setting before going for a very fast lap,´said the Italian. ´We want the bike to work smoothly around here and that´swhat we´ve been focusing on throughout both of today´s sessions. Tomorrowwill be much more important though, because the surface will be moregrippy, and that means we can ride harder and also do more effective workon race settings, because the conditions will be closer to what we´ll haveto contend with in Saturday´s race.´

500cc, 2001

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