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Repsol YPF Honda

Repsol YPF Honda

With the 500 title already decided since the last GrandPrix of Australia, the riders started into the firstpractice sessions for the last Grand Prix of the seasonin Brazil today. Alex Crivillé, who has returned to theplace where he won the World Championship in 1999,clocked ninth fastest with a gap of seven tenths of asecond to provisional pole. His team-mate TohruUkawa, who concentrated on the choice of tyres forthe race, took 14th place so far and will try to improve this result tomorrow, aiming at the second row of the grid. Today´s qualifying session was onceagain a very close and competitive battle, with the ten fastest riders separated by less than a second.

Alex Criville

9th - 1´53.24124 laps, 118 Km

´Good and bad!Good, becauseI´m only seventenths down on the best time, and only three tenths away from the firstrow on the grid, but bad because of the result, as I finished ninth, and asI´m only on the third row of the grid for the moment. The times are veryclose, and tomorrow we have to push and try even harder in order toreserve a spot on the first or second row, which is my goal right now. Itwas a very calm day of practice, as we tried different suspension set-upsand different tyres in order to prepare for the race. We know more or lesswhich combination to use, but we still have to refine our package a little.The track is slippery and bumpy, but tomorrow it should have some moretraction. This is the last race of the season, and my final goal is to finishwith a podium.´

Tohru Ukawa

14th - 1´53.96323 laps, 113 Km

´At the beginningof the qualifyingsession, I had agood feeling about the bike which allowed me to put in good lap times, inthe high 1´53´s straight away. But then, we started to try different tyrecompounds for the race, and we lost track. For the moment, we haven´tbeen able to find tyres on which I feel comfortable, but fortunately we havetwo hours of practice left tomorrow. The track isn´t in good conditions yet,it doesn´t offer enough grip. In the morning, it was more slippery than inthe afternoon, so I think that we´ll have more traction again tomorrow, andthat the lap times will improve. The asphalt is very bumpy, and it is crucialto have a good suspension set-up.´

500cc, 2001

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