Jan 22, 2003
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From a press release issued by Pramac Honda Press Information:<BR><BR>Sepang – (Malaysia) – 20/21/22 January 2003<BR><BR>Private tests<BR><BR>Wednesday 22 January<BR><BR>Last day of tests for the Pramac Honda team in the heat of Sepang.<BR><BR>Despite the thunderstorms during the night, the heat was still scorching for the final day of tests in Malaysia, where Makoto Tamada and Shinichi Itoh have been making their debut on Bridgestone-tyred Honda RC 211Vs. The very damp track dried out only in the early afternoon, and almost all the riders at Sepang went out on their bikes only at 1:30 p.m. So it was a very intense afternoon for the Pramac Honda team and for Bridgestone, who nevertheless did manage to complete their programme. In view of the huge amount of data collected and the number of materials tested in the three-day session, the initial results are considered to be very positive. Tamada and Itoh also clocked up 165 and 170 kilometres respectively over the three days. It is as though they had both completed 8 Grand Prix races at Sepang, where the World Championship race is 21 laps. <BR><BR>Lots of kilometres and lots of data, which has made the Bridgestone technicians very happy, as Mr. Hiroshi Yamada, manager of the motorcycle racing division of the Japanese tyre manufacturer confirmed: "We've gathered some extremely important data that will let us proceed with development work on our MotoGP and four-stroke project. We now have a clear idea of Makoto Tamada's style of riding. This will let us focus our research more precisely to adapt to his style and, in more general terms, to find the best way to make further progress. We tried out a number of solutions for the rear tyre and they showed that the new model created for the MotoGP has much better balance and far greater grip than what we were using last year. We haven't done duration tests yet, but the first results are very interesting. We know we've got plenty of work to do at 'home' to prepare for the next tests, but it's always like that when you're developing a new project." <BR><BR>Makoto Tamada: 2:06.5 – "I'm pleased with these three days of tests, even though I still haven't found the perfect set-up for my bike. I'm not worried about it though, because I know my potential and these tests helped me get a better feeling for the bike and adapt it to my aggressive style of braking. We've got lots of information from these tests that will help us improve even further in the next sessions."<BR><BR>Shinichi Itoh: 2:06.5 – "I tried out many different tyres and different solutions to get a good idea about everything we need to analyse. I think I've been able to do a good job, and we've sure got a huge amount of data. I think we'll soon be able to bridge the gap between us and the leaders." <BR><BR>The next session of tests for the Pramac Honda team will be in mid-February<BR><BR>