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Tamada comes of age in MotoGP

Tamada comes of age in MotoGP

Tamada comes of age in MotoGP

Makoto Tamada made people sit up and take notice last weekend when he produced his best MotoGP result yet with sixth position at Jerez. The World Championship rookie and former World Superbike race winner was battling as high as fourth position at one stage.

On his debut at Suzuka, when things were highly expected of the Pramac rider on home turf (where he has finished second in the prestigious Suzuka 8 hour), he disappointedly crashed out half way through the race and then could only grab two points for 14th in Welkom. On his first visit to Jerez he provided a glimpse of his talent and four years four-stroke and Japanese Superbike experience with a solid race behind the most experienced rider on the grid Alex Barros.

Here is what the 26 year old had to say on his most productive race of 2003 so far:

´It was a really difficult race to reach the head of the pack. When it was time to make my attack, I was no longer able to deliver all the power down to the ground because I was losing grip at the rear. I got past Barros and Ukawa by shutting down the throttle at the very last moment and braking harder. It was two fine duels!
After three laps in fourth place, I had to let them by. At the moment when I am decelerating, I still get vibrations that make the saddle painful and riding extremely difficult. If we can solve these little problems, we´ll be able to go even faster, but I´m very satisfied as it is.
A day like this really pumps up the motivation. This is what we need to go forwards and get better and better. Now I can look to Le Mans with real confidence, even though I know we mustn't overdo things: we've got to take one step at a time.´

MotoGP, 2003, Makoto Tamada

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