Dec 20, 2001
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From a press release:<BR><BR>HONDA RACING NEWS<BR><BR>HRC RC211V Test Phillip Island, Australia, December 19<BR><BR>Weather, morning, light rain - afternoon, sunshine; temperature, 25 degrees C; track <BR>conditions, morning, damp - afternoon, good.<BR><BR>The second day of the HRC winter test at Phillip Island, Australia, was hampered by rain showers, and high winds, in the morning. Conditions, however, improved by lunchtime, the track top drying to give the riders, high winds apart, a fee run in the afternoon.<BR><BR>Team riders Valentino Rossi and Tohru Ukawa completed almost 100 laps of the 4.448 km circuit aboard their RC211V 5-cylinder 990cc Honda 4-strokes. Rossi was again fastest, slightly faster than yesterday at 1:32.20. Ukawa had the misfortune to crash in the windy conditions. He escaped unscathed but the RC211V was damaged restricting the number of laps he could put in. Despite the setback Ukawa was close to his time of Wednesday.<BR><BR>Honda Gresini rider, Daijiro Katoh, was another faller. The diminutive 250cc World Champion slid off his NSR500 braking for the hairpin. Katoh also escaped injury in the slow-speed crash and went on to better his time of yesterday by three-tenths of a second at 1:33.30.<BR><BR>Kanemoto Honda had team rider Jurgen v. d. Goorbergh testing their Bridgestone shod NSR500 in preparation for Bridgestone's entry into the senior class of GP racing. HRC test rider Shinichi Itoh, himself a former GP rider, lent his considerable experience to the team's tyre testing efforts, working together with Van der Goorbergh and team owner/manager Erv Kanemoto. Both riders circulated faster than on the opening day of the test.<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi: "Today I worked a lot on testing new tyres and suspension parts. I am beginning to understand this bike and my team start to understand how to set up the bike to solve potential problems. We still need to work to achieve the best from this machine but I'm quite satisfied. The bike is very, very fast."<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa: "This morning I went onto the grass and crashed. I was lucky but the bike was slightly damaged. I got caught by the strong wind at the end of the pit straight and lost the ideal line and went onto the grass. In the afternoon I got in some good times and I'm sure I'll be even faster tomorrow."<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh: "Today I worked on suspension settings and tyres. In the morning I had a low speed crash at the hairpin. I lost grip and the bike slid away from me, without damage to myself or the bike. In general I'm satisfied with what we did today."<BR><BR>Jurgen v. d. Goorbergh: "I'm good with the bike but I need more testing to fully understand the NSR500. Today we tested a lot of tyres and I worked on suspension. Everything is going well but I don't want to break any records, just learn how to ride this bike."<BR><BR>Lap times:<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi, RC211V, 1:32.20, 61 laps.<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa, RC211V, 1:33.10, 48 laps<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh, NSR500, 1:33.30, 46 laps<BR><BR>Jurgen v. d. Goorbergh, NSR500, 1:34.24, 61 laps<BR><BR>Shinichi Itoh, NSR500, 1:33.92, 58 laps<BR>