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Yamaha wrap up team tests in Mugello

Yamaha wrap up team tests in Mugello

Yamaha wrap up team tests in Mugello

Under sunny skies and excellent weather the MotoGP Yamaha factory line-up completed two days of tests late yesterday afternoon at the Mugello circuit, Italy, venue of round five of the World Championships in three weeks. Completing laps alongside the Fortuna Yamaha Team of Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri were Gauloises Yamaha riders Alex Barros and Olivier Jacque, Team d'Antin Yamaha rider Shinya Nakano, and Yamaha test representative Norick Abe.

Alex Barros, still recovering from damaged knee ligaments, set the fastest time but the Fortuna duo were not far away. Checa was second quickest and set a best time over the two days of 1'51.9s despite a few tumbles, beating the circuit lap record of 1'52.6. Checa completed a total of 34 laps yesterday. Melandri notched 71 laps today with a best time during the two days of 1'53.0s.

Checa had a disappointing finish to last weekend's Grand Prix in Jerez when electrical problems meant he had to pull out of the race while fighting with the race leaders. Yesterday he tested a new evolution of the M1 chassis for the second time, and also some Michelin tyres.

´I am a little disappointed because I had some falls here.´ said Checa. ´I lost the front - it is difficult to find the limit here and I just pushed too hard. We tested the old chassis yesterday, which works very well and I got my best lap time with it. Today I spent almost all the day with the new M1 chassis and the feedback was positive but then I crashed so we stopped early.´

Marco Melandri continued to amaze everyone with his incredible recovery since his unlucky fall at the Japanese Grand Prix just over one month ago when he fractured his ankle in two places and chipped his femur. The 20-year old Italian was out of action for the first two races of the season but made his comeback at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend.$$$ Melandri was tired but happy at the end of the sessions, having spent some of the day testing front tyres but feeling generally better than he has since his accident, ´I´m feeling very tired now and have a small ache in my ankle and my back,´ he remarked. ´But I am happy because I was able to do a lot of laps. This was the best training I could do for Le Mans. After Jerez I was really exhausted because I rode so many consecutive laps for the first time in the race. I am going to rest for a couple of days and then keep going swimming to train before Le Mans. I am definitely well on my way to full recovery now.´

1. Alex Barros, Gauloises Yamaha Team (61 laps) 1'51.7
2. Carlos Checa, Fortuna Yamaha (34 laps) 1'52.1
3. Olivier Jacque, Gauloises Yamaha Team (60 laps) 1'52.5
4. Marco Melandri, Fortuna Yamaha (71 laps) 1'53.0
5. Shinya Nakano, Yamaha Team d'Antin (63 laps) 1'53.5

MotoGP, 2003

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