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Dec 19, 2001

More Honda Four-stroke Tests, This Time At Phillip Island

From a press release:<BR><BR>HONDA RACING NEWS<BR><BR>HRC RC211V Test<BR>Phillip Island, Australia, December 19.<BR><BR>Weather, fine and sunny; temperature, 25 degrees C; track conditions, good.<BR><BR>Rossi and Ukawa on Lap Record Pace at Phillip Island<BR><BR>HRC winter testing of the RC211V 5-cylinder four-stroke machine they will enter in the 2002 World Championship. Team riders Valentino Rossi, the reigning 500cc World Champion, teammate Tohru Ukawa and test rider Shinich Itoh all put in a hard day on the 990cc V-5.<BR><BR>The first day of the test centered around tyres and suspension settings and the riders were happy with their day's work. Rossi setting fastest time at 1:32.44. Three-tenths of a second under the lap record for the 4.448-km Australian circuit. Teammate Ukawa was not far off record pace.<BR><BR>The Honda Gresini team brought Daijiro Katoh to the test where he renewed his acquaintance with the NSR500 he will race in 2002. The 250cc World Champion put in a best time of 1:33.6.<BR><BR>Team Kanemoto Honda continued with their Bridgestone tyre testing programme at the HRC test. Team rider Jurgen v.d. Goorbergh gaining more experience of both machine and tyres.<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi: "Today it was a real pleasure for me to ride the bike here with beautiful weather and all the track only for us, I did a lot of laps and I tried many tyres, we found some good solution but we still need to work a lot on this bike. We took here the same motorcycles we tested in Spain and also here the bike is fast but of course need a lot of improvement. We will see tomorrow."<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa: "I did 82 laps and I tested many things , I am satisfied about this first test day where we spend some time to find the right suspension setting and to test the tires that Michelin brought here. For tomorrow I hope to make a better lap time and find good solution for the setting."<BR><BR>Jurgen van der Goorbergh: "Here in Phillip Island I feel more comfortable with the bike in comparison with Jerez. I begin to understand better the NSR and its behaviour and I am sure that at the end of this test I can do better then today. Today we tested a huge numbers of new tyres from Bridgestone and for tomorrow we will continue to work on suspension and tyres."<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh: "Today at the beginning we worked on the riding position. I changed the handlebar position and we took a new shape fuel tank to fit better my body. After I spent my time to find the right setting and I did many laps to train myself to ride a 500. I have a good feeling with the NSR and of course we have a lot of work to do."<BR><BR>Lap times:<BR>Valentino Rossi, RC211V, 1:32.44, 59 laps<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa, RC211V, 1:33.06, 82 laps<BR><BR>Shinichi Itoh, RC211V, 1:34.80, 61 laps<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh, NSR500, 1:33.6, 62 laps<BR><BR>Jurgen van der Goorbergh, NSR500, 1:34.40, 67 laps