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More points for the Fortuna Yamaha riders

More points for the Fortuna Yamaha riders

More points for the Fortuna Yamaha riders

Fortuna Yamaha riders Ruben Xaus and David Checa – who was standing in for Toni Elias for the third time at the weekend – both completed the Gauloises TT Assen and grabbed a few points.

Ruben Xaus, who did not get a good start, finished the race in 12th position with the bodywork on his M-1 badly damaged after being hit by a stone that had been thrown up by the bike of Japanese rider Tamada, who was in front of him. Xaus posted his best lap three laps from the end and his rhythm got stronger as the race progressed. On the last lap he produced a fine finish and even managed to edge past Hopkins just a few metres from the line.

"I made a mistake at the start and I did not feel comfortable for the first few laps, I did not have the right feeling," said Xaus. "When Tamada passed me, it took me a while to get back in front of him because I had been struggling for a while. Then I battled with Bayliss, Roberts and Hopkins and improved my rhythm and the bike began to get lighter by the halfway point. I have to learn to improve my rhythm in the first five laps of the race because in the last few races it's only been on the last few laps that I've felt like I could challenge for the top eight. I have to improve a lot in that respect."

The same incident with Tamada also had an impact on the other Fortuna Yamaha rider, David Checa. The Spaniard was hit on his right arm by the debris just five laps in and it caused severe bruising that impeded him throughout the race. Checa managed to finish the race in fifth position and produced arguably his best performance of his three races so far.

"I felt very comfortable at the beginning", commented Checa. "I was able to get away quite well and even got in front of Tamada and Ruben. But when the Japanese rider got past me, he threw a stone up at me at the chicane – that upset me a lot. I kept going the best I could but it hurt a lot and over the final laps I was not able to accelerate or brake as I wanted, which meant I had to be cautious. Anyway, I am happy because I believe I rode a good race. It's a shame my time with the team has come to an end."

MotoGP, 2005

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