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Capirossi takes over the mantle from the injured McCoy in Estoril

Capirossi takes over the mantle from the injured McCoy in Estoril

Capirossi takes over the mantle from the injured McCoy in Estoril

Loris Capirossi has finished the second and final day of IRTA tests in Estoril by improving on Garry McCoy's time from yesterday by one hundredth of a second. The Italian bettered his own lap record from last year's race and got to within a hundredth of Max Biaggi's pole position record. The West Honda Pons rider was six-tenths clear of Katoh, seven from Nakano and nine away from team-mate Barros and Honda colleague Van den Goorbergh. The Dutchman himself had improved steadily throughout the day, and saw McWilliams, Kocinski, Checa, Abe and Jacque join him in the top ten. Yesterday's quickest rider, Garry McCoy, has been ruled out until at least the first race of the year by doctors.

Capirossi finished tests an hour early after setting the fast lap, and was satisfied with his bike's performance, 'I'm very happy because with the time I have achieved, I have begun to test the full potential of my new NSR500. The most important thing is that I haven't done just one quick lap, but have put in a few at around 1'40. Today I have tried a few different tyres and I will leave Estoril satisfied because I have seen that the bike goes well and there is still room for improvement.'

Fortunately today there were less falls than yesterday, although David Checa was unlucky to crash out and fracture the radius in his right forearm, meaning 20 days out of action. There were falls also for Olivier Jacque, Jay Vincent, Randy de Puniet, Roberto Locatelli and Franco Battaini.

Marco Melandri was quickest in 250, going eight-tenths faster than rival Fonsi Nieto. Despite this, the Spaniard continues to show that he is one of the form-men in the quarter litre class. Fonsi remarked, 'The most important thing is that we are testing lots of things so we can get a good base set-up for the bike. The times are coming easily to me and I'm constantly on the pace, when the normal thing would be that we wouldn't see such good results after all the changes we're making to the bike.'

Official Best Times


1. Loris CAPIROSSI, ITA, (Honda) - 1'40.126
2. Daijiro KATOH, JPN, (Honda) - 1'40.743
3. Shinya NAKANO, JPN, (Yamaha) - 1'40.831
4. Alex BARROS, BRA, (Honda) - 1'41.040
5. Jurgen Vd GOORBERGH, NED (Honda) - 1'41.056


1. Marco MELANDRI, ITA, (Aprilia) - 1'41.994
2. Fonsi NIETO, SPA, (Aprilia) - 1'42.737
3. Franco BATTAINI, ITA, (Aprilia) - 1'42.773
4. Casey STONER, AUS, (Aprilia) - 1'42.903
5. Roberto LOCATELLI, ITA, (Aprilia) - 1'42.943

500cc, 2001

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