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Red Bull Yamaha optimistic of success in South Africa

Red Bull Yamaha optimistic of success in South Africa

Red Bull Yamaha optimistic of success in South Africa

Perhaps the most unlucky team in MotoGP last season, the Red Bull Yamaha squad have started 2002 in a similar vein. Preseason injuries to star rider Garry McCoy, who missed much of 2001 with a broken scaphoid, were impounded with a mid-race crash for the Australian rider in the first round of the season a fortnight ago. However, the team were encouraged by the performance of rookie John Hopkins and are convinced that their fortunes are about to change at the Phakisa Freeway, the scene of McCoy's debut win in the top class two years ago.

`Garry´s recovery from his injury has improved greatly since Suzuka,´ explained Team Manager Peter Clifford. `He was in a lot of pain in Japan and it turned out that this was caused by one of the screws starting to work its way out of the ankle. That restricted both his walking and riding of the bike. He flew straight back to Austria where he had the screw removed under local anaesthetic. Since then he has been much happier.

Clifford insists that despite the disappointing start to the new season and the dominating entrance made by the 4 strokes, spirits remain upbeat in the Red Bull garage. `We know that Garry is one of the fastest guys out there and the team moral is very high at the moment, with a very positive attitude assisted by John´s enthusiasm and the promise of doing something special with the Dunlop tyres. I think John showed great determination in Suzuka, finishing and collecting points when others just gave up. Of course that is appreciated and it was an indication of the team spirit when Garry's mechanics were all on the pit wall to cheer him home long after Garry had fallen. The four strokes were superb in Japan but it would be a mistake to write off the two stroke season completely after one race. We are still determined to cause some upsets during the year and be on the case at every race.

MotoGP, 2002, Africa's Grand Prix

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