GERMAN GRAND PRIX, SACHSENRING Race Day, Sunday July 23 2000 MARLBORO YAMAHA MEN DIG DEEP In one of the most exciting 500 races of an already memorable season, Marlboro Yamaha riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa called on all their reserves of...
GERMAN GRAND PRIX, SACHSENRING
Race Day, Sunday July 23 2000
MARLBORO YAMAHA MEN DIG DEEP
In one of the most exciting 500 races of an already memorable season, Marlboro Yamaha riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa called on all their reserves of speed and willpower to grab fourth and ninth places in a frantic German Grand Prix.
Despite a heavy fall in yesterday’s free practice, Carlos Checa proved what a tough customer he is by fighting every inch of the way to retain his second place overall in the World Championship.
“You can’t say 500 races are boring these days,” said Marlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust. “That was a serious race and in those situations it could be anyone. Max really deserved a rostrum after fighting with that lot and nobody deserves to stay second more than Carlos.”
BIAGGI BRINGS IT HOME FOURTH
After a good start Marlboro Yamaha Team star Max Biaggi tucked into the leading group and doggedly stayed there all race. He pushed as hard as he could on a rear tyre that was perhaps a little too hard for his super-smooth riding style and concentrated on getting a result in a frantic race.
“At the first corner I braked hard to get round safely,” said the Italian maestro. “But Capirossi and Roberts managed to get through. I attacked wherever I could, but felt I was just missing out on getting the power down compared to the others. I maybe should have gone for a slightly softer rear, but with so many left handers we went for something that would last. I could have done two races with that tyre. I hope we find some more improvements when we test at Mugello this week and finish the second half of the season strongly.”
CHECA BATTLES TO NINTH
Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Carlos Checa showed real guts today. Unable to sleep properly last night after his big crash, he bravely went out in this morning’s warm-up and decided then that he would race. After pre-race attention in the riders’ mobile clinic, he fought his way up from the fourth row of the grid to notch up seven valuable points in his bid for this year’s 500 crown.
“For me it was so hard, especially the start, because I was so out of touch,” said the super-tough Spaniard, who also dropped his YZR in warm-up. “But step-by-step, lap-by-lap, I worked the bike harder. Doctor Costa improved not just my body, he helped my mind, made me focus on what I could achieve today. After testing at Mugello this week I’ll go to Brno and start working again from there.”
BARROS GRABS WIN NUMBER TWO
Red-hot Brazilian Alex Barros (Honda) pulled a last gasp pass out of the bag to notch his second Grand Prix victory of the season. Running at the front for most of the race until being hunted down by Valentino Rossi, he retook the lead at the start of the penultimate lap and held it to the flag.
“I had tyre problems like everyone else,” he said. “I was trying to save them in these hot conditions, but when Rossi passed me, I followed him, then made my move and managed to hold on. What a race.”
ROSSI EDGED INTO SECOND IN THRILLER
Italian charger Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on a second consecutive 500 victory. Foiled by an overlong start light sequence, he rapidly made up for lost ground, scything through the field into the lead from 18th on lap one, before losing out to Alex Barros in the final showdown. “My start was very bad,” he said. “The first three laps were very slow, because I had a hard tyre, but once I caught the leading group, I waited two or three laps and then decided to overtake.”
<pre> RACE CLASSIFICATION 1. Alex Barros (BRA) Emerson HONDA Pons 43'54.632 2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Nastro Azzurro HONDA +0.078 3. Kenny Roberts (USA) Telefonica Movistar SUZUKI +0.864 4. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team +1.263 5. Tadayuki Okada (JPN) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +1.674 6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Emerson HONDA Pons +3.014 7. Régis Laconi (FRA) Red Bull YAMAHA WCM +13.606 8. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +13.917 9. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team +14.019 10. Garry McCoy (AUS) Red Bull YAMAHA WCM +20.085
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 1. Roberts 161 2. CHECA 123 3. Rossi 112 4. Capirossi 112 5. Abe 106 6. Barros 104 7. Criville 88 8. Aoki 78 9. McCoy 68 10. Okada 65 11. Biaggi 64