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Melandri makes debut on Yamaha M1 in Valencia

Melandri makes debut on Yamaha M1 in Valencia

Melandri makes debut on Yamaha M1 in Valencia

The recently-crowned 250cc World Champion, Marco Melandri, today made his highly anticipated debut on board the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine he will ride in next season's MotoGP World Championship. The Italian rider, who will form a team with Spain's Carlos Checa, dedicated his first day with the new squad to familiarising himself with the over 200-horsepower machine, aiming to cover the maximum number of kilometres possible with the motorbike.

At the Circuito de la Comunidad Valencia Ricardo Tormo, Yamaha took over from the Honda Racing Corporation who had tested earlier this week with Nick Hayden, Daijiro Kato and Tohru Ukawa until yesterday. All of Yamaha's riders for next season were present at the tests, with the official pairing of Checa and Melandri joined by the Tech3 duo of Alex Barros and Olivier Jacque, both of whom carried on from their last tests with the factory a month ago. Also out on track was Shinya Nakano, who made his first contact with the Luis D'Antin team he will ride with in 2003. $$$

This first day of tests was simply about clocking up miles on the machines. Melandri had to get used to the extra speeds of his new four-stroke, while Nakano and Barros have yet to settle into their new set-ups. Carlos Checa continued from where he left off in tests after the last Grand Prix of this year, testing a new fuel-injected engine. Checa and Barros both had light crashes, but temperatures were slightly higher than those encountered by the Honda riders yesterday. Nevertheless the riders had to contend with fierce winds as they completed the first of three days work in Eastern Spain.

MotoGP, 2002, Marco Melandri

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