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Makoto Tamada renewing acquaintances in MotoGP

Makoto Tamada renewing acquaintances in MotoGP

Makoto Tamada renewing acquaintances in MotoGP

Japanese rookies with big reputations are nothing new to MotoGP, but the announcement by HRC that Makoto Tamada would be riding the Bridgestone shod RC211V for the Pramac team is sure to have sent an uncomfortable shudder of recollection across some sections of the Grand Prix fraternity. The aggressive former Japanese Superbike rider was the only man to beat fellow MotoGP newcomers Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss in last season´s WSB series with a sensational wildcard victory at Sugo, and his combative talents are also known to Alex Barros, Daijiro Kato and Tohru Ukawa, who he has teamed up with for the Suzuka 8 hours race.

Tamada, who also ruffled feathers with a wildcard appearance in the 250 race at Suzuka in 1998, paid his first visit to the Sepang Circuit for factory HRC tests earlier this week and was satisfied with his early progress. `I am pleased with the three days of tests, even though I still haven´t found the perfect set-up for my bike,´ explained Tamada, who was supported at the test by Bridgestone development rider Shinichi Itoh. `I am not worried about it though, because I know my potential and these tests helped me get a better feeling for the bike and adapt it to my aggressive style of braking. We´ve got lots of information from these tests that will help us improve even further in the next sessions.´

Despite his early optimism, the 26 year old has also now had a taste of the long hard job ahead of him. `It was very hot, and a huge amount of work. As the weather was good, we went round almost non-stop. After a bit, you get to feel the fatigue, but this initial stage of work is very important, and I haven´t yet found the perfect settings to build up a really fast speed. Itoh and I exchange data and information, and this helps us make progress.´

MotoGP, 2003, Makoto Tamada

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