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Nov 29, 2001

More From Honda Tests At Jerez

From a press release:<BR> <BR>HONDA RACING NEWS<BR><BR>HRC Grand Prix test - Jerez. 28.11.2001. Day 2.<BR><BR>Weather, sunny; temperature, 22 degrees C; track conditions, new surface bumpy in places.<BR><BR>Rossi and Ukawa Chase Machine Stability at RC211V Test<BR><BR>The second day of the three day HRC test session for the new Honda RC211V four-stroke GP machine saw the team concentrate their efforts on machine <BR>stability. The team riders tested an array of suspension settings, tyres, brakes and engine parts during the day.<BR><BR>Team riders Valentino Rossi and Tohru Ukawa put in a total of 136 laps between them round the 4.423km Jerez circuit as they searched for the ideal machine set up for the RC211V Honda.<BR><BR>Italian Rossi, the 2001 500cc World Champion, and his team worked particularly hard on several aspects of the RCVs performance. Rossi did not improve on his time of yesterday ending the day with a best lap time of 1:43.3 from his 60 lap stint on the 990cc V-5 Honda.<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi: "I think the results with the new bike are good. Since the Suzuka test the riding position is much better making it easier to ride, traction is better, and also engine power."<BR><BR>"Yesterday we tried to get a good feeling on the bike and find good settings. Today we continued in this way but the lap time was not so good. The problem with the bike is the engine braking entering the corners, the engine brakes very hard and makes the bike nervous. The bike is also difficult in mid-corner it slides a little when you accelerate hard.<BR><BR>"The track surface is new and I have not ridden on it before so I'm not sure what the problem is. This is probably the tyre and Michelin will be working hard on this.<BR><BR>"Tomorrow I will ride the NSR500 two-stroke for some laps to try and understand the grip problem as I know the characteristics of that bike better than the RCV and it will help us. We have many options with the RCV and we have to try them all.<BR><BR>"We have a test at Phillip Island before Christmas and we will do a lot of work there. Testing is always better in hot weather and we are sure to get it down there."<BR><BR>Japanese star Tohru Ukawa put in 76 laps on his V-5 and concentrated on suspension settings, tyres and brakes, trying to get the machine to run into the corners smoothly. Ukawa eventually lapped the Spanish circuit at 1:43.6.<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa: "The lap times were not faster today, the two-stroke and four-stroke running about the same times. We tried many things today and the machine set up was not quite right for me.<BR><BR>"Sure the RCV is faster than the NSR and has a lot of potential because it's so easy to ride. The engine braking is very strong and a little difficult to handle after the two-stroke engine which gives you nothing. The braking is so strong the rear wheel hops on the entrance to the corner. This makes the bike unstable. But we have already improved this aspect from the last time I tested the bike.<BR><BR>"Tomorrow we will work on the suspension and tyre combination and try to fix the stability. I need to get on the throttle faster and be more aggressive We are going in the right direction and I'm confident we will improve even more tomorrow."<BR><BR>Honda Gresini team rider Daijiro Katoh was in superb form on the team's NSR500 two-stroke machine. The 250cc World Champion has taken to the 500 like a duck to water, totally unfazed by the 185 PS plus power of the machine.<BR><BR>The diminutive (1.62mts) Japanese weighs only 58 kilograms and has spent most of his time finding base machine settings from which to work from in future. Suspension settings, riding position and weight distribution his main objectives.<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh: "Basically I need time on the bike to get it to work the way I want it to. The set up was not right for me today but it was better than yesterday. We haven't changed much on the bike yet. Simply because it's so new to me I have to take it step by step. I'm not happy with the results so far, I know I can do better."<BR><BR>The Honda Gresini 250cc World Championship pairing of Spaniard Emilio Alzamora, the former 125cc World Champion, and young Italian team-mate Roberto Rolfo, new to the team for 2002<BR><BR>Emilio Alzamora: "I tested the new carburettors today and I was in and out of the pit a lot. But we got some work done and the bike is better. Tomorrow I have to test new front and rear suspension and then the tyres with the new set up. So I needed to get the bike working well for that."<BR><BR>Roberto Rolfo: "The bike is so much different to the Aprilia I raced last year. I'm not yet completely comfortable on the bike, it's so much smaller than the Aprilia. I am taking things step by step. The engine is much better off the corners and easier to ride than my last year's bike. I had a small crash at the first corner today but I'm OK. Tomorrow I will try and learn more about the bike before I go for really fast times."<BR><BR>Team Kanemoto Honda continued testing their NSR500 on Bridgestone tyres. Team rider Jurgen van der Goorbergh putting in two and a half hours track time developing race tyres for the coming season. The Dutchman was in fine form but at the end of his final session, on the planned last lap, he slid off the NSR, luckily escaping injury.<BR><BR>Jurgen van den Goorbergh: "Everything is beginning to come together. I'm getting a better feel for the chassis and also with the power of the bike, very steady improvement over yesterday.<BR><BR>"We are obviously tyre testing as well as me getting a feel for the bike. One rear tyre I particularly liked was consistently fast. Unfortunately I didn't change the front at the same time and it was shot at the end of the session. On my very last lap, just before coming into the pit, I crashed at the slow corner at the end of the straight. The front turned in and I was off. I'm OK but it's a bit annoying all the same.<BR><BR>"I'm happy enough, I'm getting a better feeling for the bike each time I get on it. The power delivery is much different on the four to the triple I raced last year, not necessarily in a better way, just different.<BR><BR>"Tyres are the big thing here, we have no experience on this track surface so we have been running many laps trying various tyres today."<BR><BR>Lap times:<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi, RC211V, 1:43.3, 60 laps<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa, RC211V, 1:43.6, 76 laps<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh, NSR500, 1:42.6, 55 laps<BR><BR>Jurgen van der Goorbergh, NSR500, 1:45.3, 38 laps<BR><BR>Emilio Alzamora, NSR250, 1:45.00, 48 laps<BR><BR>Roberto Rolfo, NSR250, 1:46.7, 26 laps