Kanemoto gets down to work with Biaggi and Hayden

Monday, 24 January 2005

Kanemoto gets down to work with Biaggi and Hayden

Erv Kanemoto began his role as Technical Director for Repsol Honda on Sunday at the start of a three-day test in Malaysia. The experienced American engineer has been recalled by the Japanese factory after spells with Bridgestone tyres and Team Suzuki to fill the void left by Jeremy Burgess on his departure for Yamaha a year ago.

"It's a real challenge and one I'm really looking forward to," said Kanemoto, who was reunited with Max Biaggi, having worked with the Italian during his debut season with Honda in the premier-class in 1998, and linked up with Nicky Hayden for the first time.

"I'll be working hard looking at all aspects of the machine and how both riders can get the most performance from the bike and from themselves. It is very early days and we're gathering information.

"We'll come back to Sepang next month with the 2005 machine and move forward. I've worked successfully with Max in the past and we have a good relationship and I'm looking forward to working with Nicky in the same productive way."

Biaggi cut an unusual sighted as he powered his way around the Sepang circuit with his traditional number 3 in Repsol Honda colours, previously worn by his two main rivals Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi.

They were his first laps on a motorcycle since breaking his leg in a supermoto accident in November but the former 250cc World Champion eased back into the groove with an encouraging time of 2'03.35 after 52 laps.

"I'm back on the bike and I can ride - this is the most important thing," he reflected. "The ankle still hurts, but I don't want to complain anymore. The first test was this one on the foot, soon I will throw the crutches away.

"We are already working on the bike. New components need intense work. We must build ‘The Winning Machine'. Being in HRC, with Erv Kanemoto, means great joy and honour but also a big responsibility."

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