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Jun 2, 2002

Dispatch From Mugello: The Crowd Goes Crazy, Swarms Riders On Last Lap

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>This report on the further MotoGP adventures of John "Hopper" Hopkins just in, from Desiree Crossman:<BR><BR>The crowd was completely out of control. As soon <BR>as Rossi passed the checkered flag, they ran on the track while riders were still crossing the finish line. Rossi was getting swarmed by hundreds maybe thousands of people, he couldn't ride his cool-down lap because they were coming from all over the place. Rossi ran over John's leg trying to get away and apparently they yanked Norick Abe off his bike and started grabbing his <BR>gear.<BR><BR>John actually hit a fan while trying to get away. The last riders to pass the finish line were another minute behind the rest of the pack due to the fans running out on the race track. We had to close the garage doors as soon as possible because there were people everywhere. <BR><BR><BR><BR>More Mugello And IOM news, from a Suzuki press release:<BR><BR>Team Suzuki News Service<BR><BR>SUZUKI WINS TT AND SMASHES LAP RECORD<BR><BR>Race Result, Isle of Man Formula One TT, Saturday, June 1st:<BR><BR>SUZUKI'S David Jefferies won the Formula One TT and smashed the lap record in the process.<BR><BR>The Yorkshireman, riding a GSX-R1000 for the Tas team, took his seventh and fastest TT victory in style. It was also the Suzuki GSX-R1000's competitive debut at the world famous Isle of Man TT races. Jefferies won the 226.38 mile race comfortably. He recorded a fastest lap of 17minutes 52.2seconds around the 37.73-mile long Mountain course for an average speed of 126.68mph. That adds nearly a full 1mph to the lap record that Jefferies previously owned at 125.69mph and 18minutes 00.6seconds.<BR><BR>It looks as though he might add to his tally of TT wins through the week as well. During practice, he set a new fastest lap of 124.68mph on his production GSX-R1000, shaving half-a-minute from the existing lap record, to be favourite for that race. The current lap record is 121.32mph.<BR><BR>SUZUKI RIDERS STAY ON TO TEST<BR><BR>MotoGP, Race Result, Mugello - Sunday, June 2, 2002: <BR><BR>TEAM Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts Jr and Sete Gibernau both retired from today's Italian GP with no more points to add to their championship scores. Both riders will be staying on at the Italian track to test the GSV-R as part of its on-going development programme.<BR><BR>The race was watched by 65,000 passionate Italian fans basking in 30-degree heat and blazing sunshine. It was won by defending champion Valentino Rossi, from fellow-Italian rival Max Biaggi, with Japanese rider Tohru Ukawa third.<BR><BR>Team Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki will stay on at Mugello tomorrow for further tyre and machine tests - part of the continuing programme to bring the brilliant new GSV-R 990cc V4 MotoGP machine to its full potential. The Suzuki is still at an early stage of development, having been brought to the track a full year earlier than originally planned, in response to the promise showed in early tests before the season.<BR><BR>KENNY ROBERTS Jr. <BR>"I started good, but I was having to push really hard and I fell because I locked the front. The same bike won today that has won the last five races, with a consistent performance all race long. It's a good indication of the areas we need to work on. I'm determined to do that; I believe the team and the factory are equally determined, and we need to keep working until we do."<BR><BR>SETE GIBERNAU<BR>"I got a great start, but then I ran onto the grass. Luckily I didn't fall, and I got back on the track to try again."<BR><BR>GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager<BR>"Both riders made a great start - especially Sete, considering his poor grid position. We have to give them full marks for their efforts. At this early stage of the GSV-R's development, they both have to ride extra hard. In these circumstances, we must expect days like today. Luckily neither was hurt, and we have more tests tomorrow to continue with our high-intensity programme. The Michelin tyres did everything we expected of them today."