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McCoy`s impressive start to season cut short by crash

McCoy`s impressive start to season cut short by crash

McCoy`s impressive start to season cut short by crash

Garry McCoy has broken the tibia and fibula in his right leg after crashing late on the opening day of IRTA tests at the Estoril circuit. The Australian rider was quickest throughout the day, and during the afternoon session even pushed his Yamaha underneath the lap record. His best time was just one-tenth of a second outside Biaggi's pole record set in Portugal last year. It was just after having set the spectacular 1'40.185 that the antipodean hit the deck with the aforementioned consequences.

Without McCoy on the track, Daijiro Katoh emerged as the main protagonist in the last hour of the session, and finished just eight-hundredths of a second behind the Yamaha, as he continued to demonstrate his rapid adaptation to the Honda NSR500. Another to have put in a good performance was Shinya Nakano who was third fastest in front of Barros, Jacque and Checa, the Japanese racer sitting amongst the quickest group all day.

Tetsuya Harada broke his left collarbone after crashing in the first minutes of the session. The Japanese Honda rider suffered the fracture in the exact spot he had had a plate inserted previously. Harada explains, 'I had finished running the engine in and I decided to begin to push the bike when I unexpectedly crashed out. It is possible the track was a little dirty after the cars were out here yesterday. I've decided not to undergo an operation because doctors have told me that with eighteen days of rest, I should be fully recovered.'

Olivier Jacque, John Hopkins and Sylvain Guintoli also fell, but none of them experienced any serious physical damage. Meanwhile in 250cc, two riders from the same time took tumbles. Casey Stoner was first to go, and he was promptly followed by team colleague David Checa an hour later. Neither case resulted in injury to the two riders.

The quarter-litre class saw Fonsi Nieto make the quickest time, despite having also suffered a minor crash. The Spaniard was 0.05 seconds quicker than rival Marco Melandri, the Italian still not having completed the recovery process from a shoulder injury he picked up in winter training. Melandri, who was third last year behind Katoh and Harada, is conscious of his lack of fitness despite this positive result, 'I'm getting very tired on the bike even though the shoulder is recovering very well. I think that I will be at one hundred percent in Suzuki, but at this moment I'm not the Melandri of last year. I think, however, that I can win the title this year.'

Official Best Times


1. Garry McCOY, AUS (Yamaha) - 1'40.185

2. Daijiro KATOH, JPN (Honda) - 1'40.274

3. Shinya NAKANO, JPN (Yamaha) - 1'40.918

4. Olivier JACQUE, FRA (Yamaha) - 1'41.210

5. Alex BARROS, BRA (Honda) - 1'41.226


1. Fonsi NIETO, SPA (Aprilia) - 1'42.216

2. Marco MELANDRI, ITA (Aprilia) - 1'42.268

3. Randy DE PUNIET, FRA (Aprilia) - 1'42.585

4. Roberto ROLFO, ITA (Honda) - 1'43.213

5. Alex DEBON, SPA (Aprilia) - 1'43.289

500cc, 2001

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