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Checa and Tamada swap rides before first GP

Checa and Tamada swap rides before first GP

Checa and Tamada swap rides before first GP

Ducati Marlboro's Carlos Checa and Konica Minolta Honda's Makoto Tamada enjoyed an unusual ride before the first round of the 2005 MotoGP World Championship. Today both riders were the guests of the Yeguada de la Cartuja, a prestigious stud farm which perpetuates the tradition of the Andalusian thoroughbreds, which goes back to the 15th century and the Carthusian monks.

The MotoGP stars visited the farm and attended a traditional demonstration of the horses' abilities before taking part in the action themselves. Children from various schools around Jerez were also there, and enjoyed the opportunity to get the autographs of the Spanish and Japanese riders.

"I have always been fond of horses and I also love to spend time with children, so that was a nice opportunity to take a break from MotoGP," said Checa, who rode the famous Bandolero XLIX, a one million dollar horse. "However, I have to focus on my job this weekend, as this first race with the Ducati Marlboro team will be special."

Having missed the last official test of the winter two weeks ago at Jerez, due to the injuries sustained at Catalunya, the Spaniard bounced back to fitness for his home Grand Prix.
"I'm OK and good to go! I'm really looking forward this weekend, because it's the first Grand Prix of the season and I will be in front of my crowd, which is always special."

The experience was a bit unusual for Makoto Tamada: "I was a bit curious because I have never seen anything like that before. I'm not used to horses, so it was kind of scary… but fun anyway."

"It's good to see so many people here in Jerez, the atmosphere is really great. I hope I will have a good weekend, I'd like to finish on the podium."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE ESPAÑA, Makoto Tamada, Carlos Checa

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