Marlboro Yamaha Team Tests Suzuka, Japan Sunday March 31 2002 Checa and Biaggi ready to go racing. Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi today completed their final day of preseason testing at Suzuka, where afternoon rain ...
Marlboro Yamaha Team Tests
Sunday March 31 2002
Checa and Biaggi ready to go racing.
Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi today completed their final day of preseason testing at Suzuka, where afternoon rain brought an early end to proceedings. The pair ended the weekend sixth and 11th quickest as they continued dialing in a third-generation YZR-M1 chassis which they evaluated for the first time yesterday.
Checa was in upbeat mood and already looking forward to getting back to business at next weekend's Japanese GP, which opens MotoGP racing's new four-stroke era.
"I'm feeling highly motivated," said the Spaniard. "If we compare ourselves to the fastest bikes we still need to improve, but we've made good progress here this weekend. We won't know exactly where we are until we're racing next Sunday and I think we can get closer to the front than we are at the moment. We need a better overall balance from our bike and there are many areas in which we can improve: engine, chassis, even the rider. But I'm confident in Yamaha and confident in this project, and looking forward to going racing."
Biaggi had been saving his best for later in the day. "I was planning to use the final hour of the tests to do my best lap but the rain got in the way," said the Italian. "We've got the bike pretty much at its maximum for the moment, so we still have plenty of work to do. Right now I think I could go as quick as the quickest two-strokes but we need to continue making improvements if we're to catch the fastest bikes."
Marlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust added: "We're now ready to go racing next weekend, and I think everyone in the team is looking forward to that after a winter of testing. It's the racing that really counts and though we know we need to keep improving, we'll see how things really are next Sunday."
Checa, Biaggi and other members of the team will visit a Yamaha factory facility in Iwata and the company's Communications Plaza at Hamamatsu this Tuesday before returning to Suzuka where they commence practice and qualifying on Friday. Sunday's Japanese GP is the first of this year's 16-round MotoGP World Championship.
Carlos Checa (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 2m 5.821s
Max Biaggi (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 2m 6.296s