Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Carlos Checa had the drive of his life in Spain today, and he wasn't even holding the steering wheel! The Spanish MotoGP rider was the guest of Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart and got to partner team star FranÃ§ois Delecour...
Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Carlos Checa had the drive of his life in Spain today, and he wasn't even holding the steering wheel! The Spanish MotoGP rider was the guest of Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart and got to partner team star François Delecour during the shakedown stage of the Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava.
The hectic 15-minute drive in Delecour's Lancer Evolution WRC took Checa between Vic and Girona and left him visibly impressed. "Next time I'd like to be in the driving seat!" he grinned. "It was great though, Delecour drives so fast and everything happens so quickly that it's very difficult to work out what's going. It seems like you can't even see the corner before you're already in and out of it! I was very impressed by how relaxed Delecour was throughout the drive, even though he told me afterwards that it's very difficult for him to drive without a co-driver reading him notes. But even if I'd had the notes I wouldn't have been able to read them because I was using all my concentration just holding on to the seat!
"Rallying is so different that it's impossible to compare the experience to riding a MotoGP bike. Everything about the drive was impressive - even the spectators, they stand so close to the road, they seem just centimetres away from the car."
François Delecour and regular co-driver Daniel Grataloup now get down to the more serious business of driving for the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship which runs from tomorrow until Sunday. The event is round four of this year's series.
Checa begins his quest for the first-ever MotoGP World Championship at the season-opening Japanese GP on April 7. This year Checa rides the all-new 200 horsepower Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR-M1, one of the new breed of four-stroke MotoGP machines.
Photography of Carlos Checa's rally experience will be available later this afternoon on www.MYTmedia.com .