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Team Repsol YPF Honda

Team Repsol YPF Honda

On the Brazilian Nelson Piquet circuit, Team RepsolYPF Honda rider Tohru Ukawa awarded himself withhis first pole position in the 500 cc category. Afterhaving shown plenty of activity in this morning´s freepractice session already, the brave Japanese riderstormed up the rankings this afternoon, rapidlyimproving on his 14th place in yesterday´s session totake first place with ten minutes to go. From thismoment until the end of the session, more than five riders took their turn in first position, with Ukawa responding once again in the very last moments. Histeam-mate Alex Crivillé, handicapped by a severe cold, hasn´t been able to improve on his position from yesterday and settled for 14th place.

Tohru Ukawa 1st - 1´51.43126 laps, 128 Km

´I´m very happyabout this result,to achieve my firstpole position in the 500 cc category is a great final of this season. I didn’texpect it, and when the practice was finished I in fact thought that I wasthird or fourth, and I was very surprised when I was told that I had takenpole position. We concentrated on working with just one bike today, andto look for the right tyres for the race. I´ve always ridden good races herein the 250 class, and my goal is now to achieve my first victory in the 500class. I´m on a good pace for the race even though I´m well aware of thefact that it will be difficult. But I achieved my best lap time with the tyresthat I´m going to use in the race tomorrow, and not with a softercompound. It is very obvious that I can´t afford to mess up the start,because to be able to make a good race and to aim at victory in the enddepends very much from how well you get off the line.´

Alex Criville 14th - 1´52.77124 laps, 118 Km

´Physically, Idon´t feel well atall. I have astrong cold which makes me quite weak. I still tried to push for a good laptime, but it wasn´t meant to happen. I knew that the lap times today weregoing to improve significantly, but with the shape I was in, I could go onlyhalf a second faster than yesterday. The session was very close andcompetitive again, and there are 13 riders ahead of me within just onesecond. This is the last race of the season, so let´s see if I can get a goodstart and take a good result in the end. I think that race pace will be in thehigh 1´52´s tomorrow. I hope to get a good start and to be able to maintainthis pace in order to move up to the front positions during the race. Theright tyre choice is very important here, because the high temperaturescause a lot of tyre wear in the race.´

500cc, 2001

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