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Yamaha begin 2003 testing programme in Jerez

Yamaha begin 2003 testing programme in Jerez

Yamaha begin 2003 testing programme in Jerez

Yamaha´s MotoGP riders officially began the 2003 campaign with their first test of the New year at Jerez today. The Japanese factory entourage had rounded off 2002 with a shakedown test at the same circuit, when intense rain had hindered their progress, so today it was a case of picking up where they left off, with Carlos Checa and Alex Barros both riding fuel injected versions of the M1. Marco Melandri, Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano also took to the track and were again greeted by heavy black clouds, although the sunshine did eventually break through and the rain held off.

Checa was keen to set about completing unfinished business: ´We have a good deal of things still to test and we must make up for lost time here because of the rain last month,´ he said. `We are in a phase of defining the characteristics of the bike we will use over the course of the season.´

The session was disrupted by an otherwise inconsequential crash for Nakano at lunchtime and inconveniently strong winds in the afternoon. ´I lost the front end,´ explained Nakano. `It seemed as if there was some oil on the track or something.

MotoGP rookie Marco Melandri continued with his learning programme after stepping up from the 250cc category, and the quarter-litre World Champion commented: `I have to continue adapting to the bike over this test, changing the rider position to my size and things like that. At the moment I am satisfied with how things are going. The most surprising thing for me so far has been the power of the bike, although the engine really helps you to ride it. The fact it is heavier is not a surprise, although when I start lapping quicker I will probably have to think about it more´.

Unofficial lap times: Alex Barros (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 1´42.9; Marco Melandri (Fortuna Yamaha Team 1´43.8); Carlos Checa (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 1´44.3; Shinya Nakano (D'Antin Yamaha) 1´45.2; Olivier Jacque (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 1´47.8.

MotoGP, 2003

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