MARLBORO YAMAHA TEAM TESTS Valencia, Spain. Tuesday/Wednesday September 19/20 2000 Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi completed their final test session of the year in Spain this week, putting them in super-confident mood...
MARLBORO YAMAHA TEAM TESTS
Valencia, Spain. Tuesday/Wednesday September 19/20 2000
Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi completed their final test session of the year in Spain this week, putting them in super-confident mood for next month's Rio Grand Prix, the first of three season-ending flyaway GPs. The pair completed two days of riding at Valencia, just days after they'd ridden to seventh and third-place finishes at the Valencia GP. Both men worked on engine and chassis improvements, some of which they'll use at Rio and others which were prototype power parts for the 2001 YZR500. Checa lapped at pole-position pace and Biaggi was just two tenths down, despite strong winds and severe heat. "This test has been really good for us," smiled Checa. "We did a lot of work with Ohlins on the front suspension and the lap times prove that we've made some more improvements. I feel very, very confident for Rio. Yamaha also brought some new engine parts that are designed to improve the throttle-to-rear-tyre connection. They worked well but we won't be racing with them this year." Biaggi evaluated the same engine parts and also got to test a new chassis that he had requested. He may race the new unit at Rio. "The idea of the new chassis is to give me even more feel and it seemed to work well," said the Italian. "We haven't yet decided whether we'll take it to Rio, but it's good enough for us to consider taking. The wind was the only problem during the tests and we had to adapt the bike, running it low, to cope with the conditions. In those circumstances the lap times were good." Marlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust was delighted with progress during the session. "We learned a lot, especially about setting the bikes for windy conditions," he explained. "We ran them lower than normal, to cut through the air better, which required a lot of work to get the bikes pitching properly, to restore chassis balance. All things considered, I think both guys' lap times were excellent. "Max seemed to like his new chassis and Carlos went away with a big smile on his face. He's back on it and really looking forward to Rio. All the 2001 engine stuff we tried was good, really helping to improve throttle linearity for smoother power delivery." Checa and Biaggi are back in action at the Rio GP on October 5/6/7. After that they dash to Japan for the Pacific GP on October 15 and conclude their season in Australia on October 29. The Marlboro Yamaha Team commences its winter testing programme in December.
Carlos Checa (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 1m 35.1s
Max Biaggi (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 1m 35.3s