Czech GP: Yamaha Team race summary

Mighty M1 wins for Marlboro Yamaha. Marlboro Yamaha Team star Max Biaggi rode a storming race at red-hot Brno this afternoon, leading from start to finish to record a first victory for the mighty M1. The win was a much deserved reward for the ...

Mighty M1 wins for Marlboro Yamaha.

Marlboro Yamaha Team star Max Biaggi rode a storming race at red-hot Brno this afternoon, leading from start to finish to record a first victory for the mighty M1. The win was a much deserved reward for the massive effort made by Yamaha, the team and its riders. Biaggi's team-mate Carlos Checa also started well but set-up problems consigned him to a fifth-place finish.

"I'm very happy, for sure," beamed YZR-M1 project leader Ichiro Yoda, the man who has orchestrated the development of Yamaha's first four-stroke Grand Prix bike. "One year ago here Max crashed, so this is like a revenge for us. I'd like to thank Max and everyone else at Yamaha and in the team, they have all worked so, so hard these past few months.

"We've made many improvements to the M1 since the start of the season, but the most significant have been these: engine-management system for better throttle-to-tyre connection, engine-braking system for better corner entry, and a chassis with more front-end performance, for better turn in. Now we will keep working because we want to take more victories and go for next year's MotoGP title."

EMPEROR OF BRNO RULES AGAIN

Max Biaggi was ecstatic after scoring his debut MotoGP victory today, proving once again that he is the emperor of Brno. The Marlboro Yamaha Team man has a unique record at the epic Czech track, taking seven GP victories here in the past nine years (one in MotoGP, two in 500s and four in 250s) and starting the past three premier-class Czech GPs from pole position. Yesterday's pole was the 50th of his World Championship career.

Biaggi rode a faultless race, getting the holeshot from pole and then resisting massive pressure from Honda rivals Valentino Rossi and Daijiro Kato. He was just metres ahead seven laps from the flag when Rossi ran into tyre problems, leaving Biaggi two seconds in front of Kato.

"This victory means a lot to me, I gave everything I could," said the brilliant Italian. "That kind of race is very tough, tyre choice is very difficult, so is bike set-up, and then you have to ride to look after the tyres. I rode hard from the start and my pit board told me just how close Rossi was. I was getting signals '+0.1', +0.2', +0.0', so they would have overtaken me even if I'd made the tiniest mistake. So I stayed calm and used my brain to choose the right lines and save my tyres.

"When I saw '+2.0' I was dreaming that this could be my first MotoGP victory but I never knew what had happened. I always look in front because I want to stay concentrated, so the only way I know what's happening behind is from my pit board. I just thought Kato had overtaken Rossi.

"We struggled at the first three races this year but the bike improved and we recovered. It's never easy, if it was, everyone would have a good bike. So I won this one for everyone in the team, thanks to them."

SET-UP TROUBLE SLOWS CHECA

Carlos Checa ran into bike set-up problems at Brno today, slipping to fifth after a stunning start had taken him from row two into second place. Unlike Marlboro Yamaha Team-mate Max Biaggi, Checa elected to use a modified M1 chassis here, but after the race admitted that the unit needed more testing. Checa and Biaggi will both test here tomorrow.

"We changed the set-up for the warm-up but the results weren't so clear," explained the Spaniard. "So we started the race with a slightly different setting, but I immediately felt that I wouldn't be able to keep the front-running pace. I think we lost our way with the set-up of the new chassis, we just need to spend more time experimenting with different settings, so tomorrow's tests will be very useful."

KATO SECOND AS ROSSI FALTERS

World Championship leader Valentino Rossi (Honda) failed to finish today's Czech GP after running into tyre problems. Second throughout, the Italian pitted for a new rear tyre but retired after realising he wouldn't score points. Instead second place went to RCV first-timer Daijiro Kato. "That was a good race, I'm happy to finish second and I want to win the next one," said Kato. Rossi, who still leads today's third-place finisher Tohru Ukawa by 80 points, added: "I didn't seem to be able to make any impression on Biaggi, then the tyre went and that was that."

RESULTS
1. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team (YZR-M1) 44'36.498
2. Daijiro Kato (JPN) Fortuna HONDA Gresini (RC211v) +2.755
3. Tohru Ukawa (JPN) Repsol HONDA Team (RC211v) +7.598
4. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Telefonica Movistar Suzuki (GSV-R) + 11.889
5. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team (YZR-M1) + 14.029
6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) West HONDA Pons (NSR500) + 18.260
7. Jeremy McWilliams (GBR) PROTON Team KR (KR3) + 24.840
8. Norick Abe (JPN) Antena 3 YAMAHA d'Antin (YZR500) + 26.572
9. Alex Barros (BRA) West HONDA Pons (NSR500) + 28.741
10. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Gauloises YAMAHA Tech 3 (YZR500) + 29.156

DNF. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Repsol HONDA Team (RC211v) 41'50.306

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) 220
2. Tohru Ukawa (JPN) 140
3. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) 134
4. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) 96
5. Alex Barros (BRA) 94
6. Norick Abe (JPN) 90
7. Daijiro Kato (JPN) 80
8. Loris Capirossi (ITA) 75
9.Olivier Jacque (FRA) 48
10.Kenny Roberts (USA) 45

-myt-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Norifumi Abe , Jeremy McWilliams , Alex Barros , Tohru Ukawa , Sete Gibernau , Kenny Roberts Jr. , Olivier Jacque
Teams Williams