BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX - RIO ROUND 14: 5th to 7th of October, 2000 The Brazilian Grand Prix holds some very special memories for the Repsol YPF Honda team and it's World Champion Alex CrivillÃ©. Last year, it was here that CrivillÃ© took his...
BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX - RIO
ROUND 14: 5th to 7th of October, 2000
The Brazilian Grand Prix holds some very special memories for the Repsol YPF Honda team and it's World Champion Alex Crivillé. Last year, it was here that Crivillé took his first 500cc crown when he finished the race in sixth position. Crivillé walked straight into the history books despite suffering from an injured left wrist. Crivillé had broken the wrist two races beforehand, in Australia, and was only able to attend the South African and Brazilian Grand Prix thanks to an emergency operation carried out in Spain. "Brazil is sure to bring back good memories," agrees Crivillé. "But as far as this season is concerned, I'll be taking the Rio race as just another race. I might have a better opportunity to win this year, however, because last year, because of the pain of the wrist I broke in Australia and the pressure of the title fight, I couldn't hope to do that."
Of course, those happy memories from last year will be slightly overshadowed by the fact that for Crivillé and the rest of the Repsol YPF Honda team, the 2000 season hasn't gone to plan. Unforeseen technical problems have prevented Crivillé and his Repsol YPF Honda team-mates Sete Gibernau and Tadayuki Okada from getting the results their talent deserves. But everyone has worked very hard to cure these problems and the situation has improved greatly over the last few races. "My feeling with the bike is now much better," Crivillé explains. "I still think that if I hadn't crashed out of the Valencia Grand Prix, I could have won there. Now I'm really looking forward to Brazil and to taking a good result in the last three races of the year."
This year's difficulties have also taken their toll on Sete Gibernau. The Spaniard has already announced that he would no longer be racing with the Repsol YPF Honda team next year. So naturally, he's anxious to leave the team on a high. "Both the team and myself need a good result before the end of the season," says Gibernau, who still feels some of the effects of a recent crash. "I'm okay physically although my back was still a little painful in Valencia. But I'm sure I'll be fully recovered for this week-end's race. Last year, qualifying went quite well in Brazil but I had a few problems in the race which prevented me from fighting for the win. But in the end I was fifth, only four seconds behind the race winner Norick Abe, and that is really encouraging."
Tadayuki Okada is also keen to push his 2000 season points tally up and Brazil could be the perfect opportunity for him to do that. Okada had a great race there last year and was on the card for a fine win when a near-collision with another rider sent him off the track. By the time he re-joined, Okada was too far down the standings to hope for even a podium finish. "That was quite a moment," Okada admits. "But it's all in the past. Now I'm concentrating on this year. The bike has been improving steadily and I've started to enjoy riding it again. Let's hope Brazil is where I start to win with it again."
<pre> STARTING GRID IN 1999 1. K. Roberts 1'52.227 2. S. Gibernau 1'52.552 3. A. Barros 1'52.672 4. C. Checa 1'52.672 5. T. Okada 1'52.790 6. M. Biaggi 1'52.960 7. J. Vd. Goorbergh 1'53.014 8. A. Gobert 1'53.101 9. N. Aoki 1'53.132 10. G. McCoy 1'53.165 11. A.Crivillé 1'53.208 12. N. Abe 1'53.214 13. J. Borja 1'53.468 14. R. Laconi 1'53.608 15. J. Kocinski 1'53.905 16. D. De Gea 1'54.235 17. JL. Cardoso 1'54.334 18. T. Harada 1'54.483 19. H. Aoki 1'54.849 20. M. Hale 1'55.012
RACE IN 1999 1 N. Abe 45'24.308 2 M. Biaggi 45'24.469 3 K. Roberts 45'24.565 4 A. Barros 45'28.750 5 S. Gibernau 45'28.939 6 A. Crivillé 45'45.562 7 T. Okada 45'45.833 8 G. McCoy 45'46.702 9 N. Aoki 45'47.397 10 A. Gobert 45'54.583 11 R. Laconi 46'05.622 12 T. Harada 46'05.956 13 J. Kocinski 46'07.065 14 D. De Gea 46'07.688 15 H. Aoki 46'09.960
Not classified J. Borja 13'49.451 J. vd. Goorbergh 7'46.857
Length: 4.933 metres Race distance: 118.392 kms. Pole position in 1999: K Roberts 1'52.227 Fastest lap in 1999: M. Biaggi 1'52.869 Circuit Record Lap 1997: T. Okada 1'51.928
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER VALENCIA POS RIDER POINTS 1 K. Roberts 214 2 V. Rossi 148 3 C. Checa 141 4 G. McCoy 134 5 L. Capirossi 126 6 A. Barros 121 7 M. Biaggi 118 8 N. Abe 113 9 A. Crivillé 107 10 N. Aoki 99 11 R. Laconi 88 12 T. Okada 87 13 J. vd Goorbergh 74 14 J. McWilliams 66 15 S. Gibernau 59 16 T. Harada 30