Yamaha Team Valencia test notes 2002-02-17

Checa & Biaggi Make Good Progress At Valencia Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi completed their third day of testing at Valencia this afternoon, making excellent progress with various aspects of their YZR-M1 MotoGP ...

Checa & Biaggi Make Good Progress At Valencia

Marlboro Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi completed their third day of testing at Valencia this afternoon, making excellent progress with various aspects of their YZR-M1 MotoGP machines.

Weather conditions were better than yesterday, with some sunshine during the afternoon, though track temperatures were below 20 degrees for most of the day. Nonetheless Checa was able to record his best-ever Valencia lap, bettering his quickest qualifying lap for last year's GP here by eight tenths of a second. But outright lap times weren't the Spaniard's top priority and he spent much of the day evaluating Yamaha's new electronically controlled hydraulic engine-braking system, which works in addition to the engine's slipper clutch.

"This new system is good and helps me to use a faster corner-entry speed," he said. "Also, I think it will allow us to run a shorter gearbox, which will give me more immediate power when I open the throttle. At the moment we are using quite long gears, which isn't so good in the slower sections of this track. We also need to improve the bike's mid-corner turning and I'm glad to hear that we'll soon have another new chassis to test. McCoy and Nakano ended up faster than me today but I don't know how consistent they're lapping. I certainly didn't go as quick as I'd hoped but for sure I would've been faster if we'd had three full days on a warm track."

Biaggi ended the day 0.166 seconds down on his team-mate, posting his best lap in the final minutes while riding the YZR-M1 of Yamaha tester John Kocinski, this bike equipped with a different chassis.

"These three days were quite difficult for me and the team because we had problems with the rear of the bike moving around," said Biaggi, who slid off earlier in the day. "But then I jumped on John's bike and quickly did my best lap. I'm very happy we've solved that problem and I can't wait to test the chassis again at Estoril next week. We've a lot of work to do but I look forward to continuing development."

YZR-M1 project leader Ichiro Yoda was also satisfied with his day's work. "Today we found a good chassis set-up with John, so my thanks to him for doing a good job," said Yoda. "Max also liked this chassis and we'll ask Carlos to test it at Estoril. The difference is in the centre of gravity and we plan to continue moving in this direction, building another new chassis, with better turning, for all three riders to test very soon. Max also got to try some new engine parts John was using and he liked the smoother power they give. Finally, both Max and Carlos tried the engine-braking control system and have given us positive feedback, though we need to continue testing of this item.

"Considering the not-so-good weather I'm happy enough with what we've done here. The 500s have shown that they can still be competitive at tighter tracks like this, Jerez and Sachsenring because they're lighter and easier to turn, with higher corner speed and better initial acceleration."

LAP TIMES <pre> Carlos Checa (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 1m 34.654s Max Biaggi (Marlboro Yamaha Team) 1m 34.820s

-myt-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa