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Ukawa and the Honda Pons team happy with their first outing

Ukawa and the Honda Pons team happy with their first outing

Ukawa and the Honda Pons team happy with their first outing

Japan´s Tohru Ukawa put in his first 712 kilometres with the Honda Pons team at the Valencian circuit yesterday. In these first tests with the Spanish-based team the Japanese has proved he is very much in-form, riding one-tenth of a second below the circuit record, which ironically had been held by his predecessor in the Pons team, Brazilian Alex Barros.

Ukawa, who will also be testing in Jerez from next Monday, was extremely positive about his debut with the new squad, ´It was an excellent start, and I´m very happy about my first run with the new set-up, which I have to add is tremendously professional. Everything about these two days has gone very well, and the proof comes in the fact that I have been able to put in my best ever lap of Valencia. Track conditions were not perfect, there was quite a bit of wind and cold, but nevertheless I was very happy on the bike and I think that interesting things can happen in this new team´.

Meanwhile, Sito Pons was also pleasantly surprised by the Japanese rider´s results after they touched base for the first time this week, ´We have begun to get to know Tohru better, and the truth is he has shown himself to be a very professional rider - very concentrated and easy to work with. This first step was very important for the rider to get to know how the team works, and also so our technical guys can begin to understand Tohru´s riding style and his precise personal needs. I would say that we consider the results of the test to be exceptional, shown in the fact that he has ridden underneath this circuit´s lap record´.

MotoGP, 2002

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