There were smiles aplenty in the Spanish sunshine for the Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team when both riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada finished in the points at the Spanish Grand Prix, held in front of over 131,000 screaming fans at the ...
There were smiles aplenty in the Spanish sunshine for the Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team when both riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada finished in the points at the Spanish Grand Prix, held in front of over 131,000 screaming fans at the technically demanding Jerez circuit. It wasn't only the points that made the team happy as both riders on the new smaller capacity 800cc machines completed the race in a faster time than 2006 confirming the constant improvement of the Dunlop tyres. Both riders became embroiled in their own duel that lasted until the flag as they both exchanged places a number of times, Makoto pipping Sylvain. for 14th position by just 0.091 of a second after 27 gruelling laps of the 4.423km track.
In his rookie year of MotoGP, Guintoli, 24-year-old Frenchman, improved his performance every time he left the pit box replicating his efforts of the previous race in Qatar confirming that it will be a season that produces every improving results.
His Japanese team mate is now moving in the same direction as he becomes attuned to his return to Dunlop tyres and with this confidence producing result both riders expect to be closer to the leading battles with the championship now moving to Istanbul for the Grand Prix of Turkey on April 22.
Makoto Tamada Position: 14th Time: +36.653
"Although it wasn't perfect I am happy with the result as I was held up by another rider during the early laps. He was faster in some spots and I was faster in others which caused me to lose a little bit of time but when I got past him I could get away quickly and come back to where Sylvain was so we fought out the rest of the race together which was very good. I was very happy with the bike setting as we used a new front tyre that I hadn't used before. I had a very good feeling with it although the rear spun a little but even at this early stage of the season I know that this will improve as well. Saying that, it was very consistent during the entire race. We have a gap of just three tenths of a second each lap compared to the mid pack so it was only a small gap in comparison to the last race. Being three seconds faster than my race time last year made me happy as well. The fight with the field this year is a lot more than last year and I know my team are happy with me because I kept fighting until the end. This will help everyone because it is important to fight until the very end so we can give the information to Dunlop so they can continue to improve."
Sylvain Guintoli Position: 15th Time: +36.744
"We had had a pretty good weekend and to score another point scoring place is very encouraging. In reality, we have done a much better job here because we are only 36 seconds from the win and six seconds quicker than the time Checa did last year considering the race was four seconds quicker as well. For me it is a big improvement because Jerez is a place I have never done very well at as I've had many troubles here in the past. The entire weekend was a big improvement tyre-wise and I am getting more used to the bike as well. I had a bad first lap but then I caught the group in front of me that were fighting for 10th but I just couldn't manage to stay with them. I had a good fight towards the end with my teammate Makoto which was a lot of fun. I had a very good front tyre which gave me the confidence to push hard throughout the race. The rear was excellent for the early laps which allowed me to catch the group in front and do low 42's. Then like everyone else the grip level dropped off slightly but I could still maintain a rhythm in the high 42's. I am confident of continuing the improvement at the next Grand Prix in Turkey."
Herve Poncharal - Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team Manager
"I'm very happy today as I think both our riders had a very good and consistent race. Sylvain had a great start and pushed really hard but Makoto was a bit more cautious. By mid race they were both together and had a very good battle between them so that was great to see. With both riders in the points it's a very good result for us as there was only one crash during the race - that says a lot for the progress we are making. Also more importantly the group in front of us with Capirossi, Barros and De Puniet was very, very close and with just 0.3 second a lap quicker we would've been with them so that's very encouraging - and don't forget Capirossi won here last year. We have made a big step forward especially compared to the previous race, so we are happy. We know the points aren't easy to come by this year considering how close the lap times are, so with both our guys in the points this is a good result and a good boost to our confidence. I am also happy with the lap times throughout the race because they are very consistent doing mid to high 1'42's which is very close to the pack, so I think if we can achieve a better grid position and have a bit more speed in the first five or six laps we will have better results. We are staying here to test for the next couple of days. Unfortunately the weather forecast is for rain, but Dunlop have a big wet test program for us anyway."