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Yamaha boosted by memories of 2001

Yamaha boosted by memories of 2001

Yamaha boosted by memories of 2001

Yamaha head for the Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring on Sunday hoping for an unlikely repeat of the clean sweep they achieved last year when Max Biaggi won the race from team-mate Carlos Checa, with Shinya Nakano and Norick Abe collecting third and fourth respectively. World Champion Valentino Rossi had a tough weekend and eventually finished seventh but he returns to this motorcycle crazy part of Germany in very different circumstances this year.

The Italian has won seven out of eight so far this season and leads team-mate Tohru Ukawa, who missed the last race at Donington Park through injury but is hopeful of being fit for this Sunday, by a massive 87 points. Biaggi finished second at Donington, riding the Yamaha M1, while his team-mate Checa crashed out of the lead. Suzuki will field three riders on their GSV-R four-strokes with regular rider Sete Gibernau joined by wildcard Akira Ryo and Yukio Kagayama, who replaces Kenny Roberts. The final four-stroke on the grid will be the RS3 Aprilia of Frenchman Regis Laconi, who has hit problems in the last two races after scoring points in the first six races.

Alex Barros is once again expected to lead the two-stroke challenge, having finished second and third in the last two Grands Prix. Barros won the race at the Sachsenring two years ago and for the second race in succession he will be joined by German Alex Hofmann, who replaces the injured Loris Capirossi at his home Grand Prix. Abe confirmed his tremendous form this season when he finished fourth at Donington, riding the Yamaha D'Antin YZR500. He shares fifth place in the Championship with Checa after only failing to score in just one race this year. 250cc World Champion Daijiro Kato suffered a rare defeat at the Sachsenring last year and he returns this year hoping to regain the early season form he displayed on the Honda Gresini NSR.

Another 250cc World Champion, Frenchman Olivier Jacque won the 250cc race at the Sachsenring two years ago and he returns in good form after finishing fifth at Donington, riding the Yamaha Tech 3 bike. Nineteen-year-old American John Hopkins continued his remarkable record of scoring points at every round of his debut season while his Red Bull Yamaha team-mate Garry McCoy makes the second race of his comeback since injury.

MotoGP, 2002, Cinzano Motorrad GP Deutschland

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