Apr 10, 2002
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From a Team America press release:<BR><BR>PODIUM AND POINTS FOR DISALVO<BR><BR>Team America Grand Prix Racing Team rider Jason DiSalvo defied the pain barrier to record a superb third place finish in the second round of the 250cc AMA Championship held at Fontana in California at the weekend.<BR><BR>The 18-year-old from Batavia, New York wrenched his right arm during practice causing damage to the tendons but he bravely decided to battle on despite the considerable discomfort.<BR><BR>With inclement unsettled weather causing unseasonably cool temperatures, DiSalvo posted third fastest time in Friday's opening 250cc practice session - after topping the times at one point - as well as finishing fourth in his qualifying group aboard the 750cc four-stroke.<BR><BR>With rain washing out all of Saturday's action, DiSalvo had a hectic schedule on Sunday but managed to qualify the 250cc machine in second position and on row three with the 750cc bike in ninth place overall.<BR><BR>Despite missing the sighting lap on the 250cc Honda, which meant he started the race on shiny rubber, DiSalvo dropped to fifth place in the early stages as he wisely bedded the tires in before charging back up the leaderboard. As he homed in on the leaders, Jason set consecutively fast laps before the pain started to tell and he dropped off the pace a little by lap ten but still held on to claim third place at the checkered flag.<BR><BR>"I was in a lot of pain towards the end of that race and I was glad when it was all over. I couldn't even lift the champagne bottle up on the rostrum and I can't even remember what I said to the commentator" declared DiSalvo after his first professional and first AMA rostrum placing. <BR><BR>Having treatment by a chiropractor between races helped Jason enormously and despite not getting his trademark fast start in the 750cc Superstock Race, he battled back through the field to finish in 11th place to score his first points on the four-stroke machine.<BR><BR>"We've had what you can call a stressful week," said Team Owner Jim DiSalvo. "We were very concerned about Jason after the 250cc race as he didn't look well at all but it's a true measure of him that he's come through it and scored two important finishes" he continued.<BR><BR>The team and Jason will take a few days rest before heading north to Sears Point Raceway for a test session in preparation for round three of the AMA series at the track near Sonoma over the weekend of May 2nd thru 5th. <BR><BR><BR>From a Suzuki Racing press release:<BR><BR>Lavilla Beats Qualifying Position<BR><BR>Superbike World Championship, Round 3, Kyalami, South Africa Sunday 7th April 2002<BR><BR>TEAM ALSTARE SUZUKI Superbike rider Gregorio beat his qualifying position of 14th by finishing 11th in the second race at Kyalami today, the third round of the World Superbike Championship.<BR><BR>In the first race he was hit by Pedercini at Wesbank corner and crashed out of the race – fortunately without injury. In the second, he began to lose rear grip after about 10-laps and was then unable to make any impression on the group battling for fourth place.<BR><BR>It was always going to be a difficult day for Gregorio and the team – thanks to his fourth row grid spot – but the crash just made a hard day even harder. Both 25-lap races were won by Aussie Troy Bayliss (Ducati), taking his tally to six consecutive race wins – a feat never achieved before in World Superbike history.<BR><BR>GREGORIO LAVILLA – Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 11th "Pedercini was a nuisance because he has a fast bike, but he rides slowly in the corners. I tried to pass him many times and on the downhill chicane he made a mistake and I was able to get by. By the time we approached Wesbank corner at the top of the hill, I was about half a bikelength ahead of him. He came across me and his handlebar hit me in the ribcage and both of us went down – it was so unnecessary. Before the crash, I was catching Walker and I was thinking about a top six place – then boom. In race two, I made an OK start – considering my grid position – and everything was fine and I was catching Toseland. Then, after about six laps, the bike started to lose grip and I couldn't go any quicker. Borja came past me and I tried to hold on to him, but it just wasn't possible. Later I had a couple of really big slides, so I thought it would be better to stay onboard and ride for some points. My only consolation this weekend is that I didn't get hurt in the fall and that the bike went round Kyalami quicker then last year."<BR><BR>From a press release:<BR><BR>Chambon Tastes Champagne<BR><BR>Supersport World Championship, Round 3, Kyalami, South Africa, Sunday 7th April 2002<BR><BR>TEAM ALSTARE SUZUKI star Stephane Chambon tasted champagne at the third round of the World Supersport Championship when he finished an impressive third in the race.<BR><BR>Chambon led the race on the first lap and then was involved in a terrific dogfight with Pitt (Kawasaki) and Whitham (Yamaha) for the rest of the 25-lap race. The Frenchman tried his hardest, but towards the end of the race Pitt and Whitham pulled out the smallest of margins and fought each other all the way to the flag. Pitt took the win – by a 10th of a second – ahead of Whitham, with Chambon one and a half seconds behind.<BR><BR>Chambon's third was a result of a tremendously gritty ride. All weekend he had been suffering from lower back pain and had to have daily massages and painkillers just to ride the bike.<BR><BR>Chambon's team mate Katsuaki Fujiwara'a amazing run of bad luck seems to show no sign of ending and he was forced to pull out of the race.<BR><BR>STEPHANE CHAMBON – 3rd<BR><BR>"It was very hard work out there. Twenty-five laps round here is very tough and the battle between us three at the front was very intensive. The suspension on my bike wasn't quite perfect and I was losing grip a bit in the race. The two guys in front rode very fast today and it was hard to keep pace with them. I am disappointed not to win the race, but I'm happy to finish on the podium."<BR><BR>KATSUAKI FUJIWARA – DNF<BR><BR>"I am unlucky again. After the good job we did yesterday, today was not good. I decided it was too dangerous to continue, so I pulled in. Of course, I am very, very disappointed because I thought I could get a good result here today. Now I have to hope that I can do well in front of my home fans in the next round at Sugo."<BR><BR><BR>From a Suzuki racing press release:<BR><BR>New Suzuki Makes Stunning Rostrum Debut At Suzuka<BR><BR>Japanese GP, Suzuka – April 7, 2002<BR><BR>Suzuki's brand new V4 four-stroke MotoGP racer made a superb debut at today's Japanese GP, with factory rider Akira Ryo leading from the line and for 15 of the 21 laps of the classic 5.821 km figure-eight circuit. Although eventually overtaken by race winner, defending champion Valentino Rossi, Ryo's Telefonica Movistar machine was still challenging all the way to the finish, crossing the line just 1.5-seconds behind pole starter Rossi.<BR><BR>Telefonica Movistar team regulars Kenny Roberts, Jr. and Sete Gibernau had mixed fortunes in a race run on a streaming wet track. Both failed to finish after crashing out.<BR><BR>For Roberts it was the culmination of a variety of small problems that had started before the race. He was eighth position when he fell – one of nine riders to fall victim to treacherous conditions.<BR><BR>Gibernau had a superlative ride. He was challenging Rossi for second place, to tag on behind Ryo, when the Italian rider slowed suddenly mid-corner inches in front of him. With nowhere to go, Gibernau had to brake hard while leaned over, and also crashed out. Until that point, he had entertained the crowd and thrilled his team with a display of daring and sideways riding that took him from seventh on the first lap to third by half-distance, and deserved a better finish.<BR><BR>Official factory tester Ryo (34), who is reigning All-Japan Superbike champion on a Suzuki, was born in Tokyo, but now lives in Kobe, with his wife Shiho and seven-year-old daughter Haruka.<BR><BR>The Japanese GP was the first of 16 rounds in the all-new MotoGP World Championship, pitting 990cc four-stroke prototypes against the established 500cc two-strokes. The new machines took the first four positions in the race.<BR><BR>The next round is in two weeks time, at Welkom in South Africa.<BR><BR>AKIRA RYO – Second Position<BR><BR>"I only started testing this bike barely two months ago. Obviously the team would prefer to win, but for me personally, I am very happy to have achieved second place. In qualifying, the other teams were very strong. I have never tested the bike in the rain, but I was quite happy that it was wet, because that made it more equal for everybody. Early in the race I was happy to lead, but towards the middle I knew Rossi was behind, and I was waiting for him to take over…and waiting and waiting. I wanted to see his race strategy, but he took his time. I had two chances to attack on the last two laps, and I tried my best, but I couldn't get quite close enough."<BR><BR>KENNY ROBERTS – Did Not Finish<BR><BR>"I had a vibration on the warm-up lap, so we changed both front and rear tyres. It seemed to me the front tyre never came in, and every time I tried to turn hard it would try to tuck under and put the bike on its side. I was riding round that, and also having problems with my visor fogging, with the extra heat coming off the four-stroke engine. that started to get better, and I was settling in when Nakano came by me. We both got into the Spoon curve a bit hot and I was real wide, and when I tried to turn, even though I felt like I couldn't go much slower, the front tucked under and I was down. It was a great start for the new bike, though – for the factory and the team."<BR><BR>SETE GIBERNAU – Did Not Finish<BR><BR>"I was really enjoying the race, and moving forwards. The bike was sliding a lot, but I was quite comfortable. Even under braking, the front wasn't so strong, but I was able to back it in sideways to get it slowed down that way. I was right behind Rossi and looking for a way past into the second Degner. We'd finished braking and were leaned over already when he seemed to virtually stop. I had to brake again to avoid hitting him, and that put me down. It lost me a potentially really good result, but it showed the potential of our new bike all the same."<BR><BR>GARRY TAYLOR – Team Manager<BR><BR>"Nobody can be in any doubt now about the competitiveness of our machine. You can't help wondering what would have happened if Kenny hadn't had a couple of problems, and if Sete hadn't been baulked by Rossi. Today was a great result for the factory, after a great deal of hard work. We also know that there is more to come. A great start."