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MotoGP IRTA tests in Catalunya: The moment of truth as all the 4-stroke rivals clash

MotoGP IRTA tests in Catalunya: The moment of truth
as all the 4-stroke rivals clash

MotoGP IRTA tests in Catalunya: The moment of truth as all the 4-stroke rivals clash

This weekend, the Circuit of Catalunya will play host to the last pre-season MotoGP IRTA test session to be held on European soil, in which all the teams in the category will clash on the track for the first time. The HRC and Telefonica Movistar Suzuki teams will join up with the rest of the field after missing the recent sessions in Valencia and Estoril.

Honda have concentrated their pre-season work on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, where both Valentino Rossi and Tohru Ukawa have registered some outstanding times. Suzuki team-mates, Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau, have also tested at Sepang, but have gone on to additional tests at the Australian circuits of Eastern Creek and Philip Island. From Saturday however, the Honda RCV211V and the Suzuki XREO will come face to face with their 4-stroke counterparts, the Yamaha M1 and the Aprilia RS³, for the first time.

A total of 24 riders and 8 different bikes will be taking part at these IRTA tests, and the results will give the first real indications as to the form of the various championship contenders before the season's curtain raising Grand Prix in Suzuka on April 7th. This weekend's tests also mark the debut of Pere Riba for the Yamaha D'Antin set-up, his first outing since he took the ride vacated by Alex Criville earlier in the month.

As well as the championship contenders, 5 test riders will also be performing in Catalunya. John Kocinski will again ride the Yamaha M1, Sylvain Guintoli will continue his work with the Gauloises Tech 3 outfit, Lucchi will be alongside Laconi on the Aprilia 4-stroke, Itoh will be on the NSR500 of the Kanemoto team and Ryo will be working with Roberts and Gibernau on the new Suzuki.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002

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