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Nov 29, 2001

Rossi and Ukawa Complete Three-day Test Of Honda V5 At Jerez

From a Honda press release:<BR><BR>Honda Racing News<BR><BR>HRC Grand Prix test - Jerez 29.11.2001. Third and final day.<BR><BR>Weather, sunny; temperature, 23 degrees C; track conditions, dusty and bumpy in places.<BR><BR>HRC Complete Successful Three Day RC211V Test at Jerez<BR><BR>The final day of the three day HRC RC211V test session at the 4.423km Jerez circuit, in Southern Spain, ended on a high note as the team completed the test programme to the satisfaction of both engineers and the riders.<BR><BR>The test, the first for the grand prix team with the RC211V 5-cyl 990cc Honda, gave the engineering staff sufficient positive feedback to take the project forward on schedule.<BR><BR>On the final day team riders Valentino Rossi and Tohru Ukawa agreed the development programme was heading in the right direction, both men are very happy with the progress the machine has made over the three days spent at Jerez.<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi: "Today we tried a lot of things focusing our work on suspension settings, tyres and power delivery. But we didn't find the best solution to some things. We changed the linkage on the rear suspension and this helped with the problem of the bike hopping under strong engine braking.<BR><BR>"Anyway, I'm very satisfied with the test because the bike has huge potential. Now we have to work hard and analyse the data and test results. I'm sure for the next test we will be ready with solutions. Machine development has been positive and I'm looking forward to the next test."<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa: "This was a good start to testing the RC211V. In the test I bettered my best lap time on a 500 around Jerez, a good result. Now I'm changing my riding style slightly to suit the RCV in order to find a good position on the bike. When I moved from the 250 to the 500 I had to change but this is a big step from the NSR500 to the RCV.<BR><BR>"Over the three day test I covered about 200 laps and we tested everything we came here to test. Today I concentrated on suspension and tyres and I'm satisfied with what we achieved. Now I want to test the RCV as often as possible. The machine has great potential, its better every time I ride it."<BR><BR><BR>Noriaki Nakata, Team Manager, HRC: "This was the first test for the RC211V at a GP circuit, apart from the Suzuka test in August, and also the first for the current GP riders as the weather at Suzuka was not good enough to allow them to test.<BR><BR>"So this test was so important for us and thanks to the fantastic weather over the three days it turned out to be a very satisfying and meaningful one. Our goal for the test was not to find the best set up for this track but to find a basic, fundamental set up for the RC211V. We have achieved our goal.<BR><BR>"Both riders, Valentino and Tohru, took part with huge enthusiasm and, in their own individual ways, they have given us much invaluable information and suggestions about what we need to do to improve the machine for the future. But for now we have a very good overall impression of the machine."<BR><BR>Koji Nakajima, Director, HRC: "We had a lot of things to test in a very broad area as this was the very first overseas test for the RC211V and also for Valentino and Tohru. We have made all the planned progress.<BR><BR>"As the RCV is a totally new machine what is important now is not the lap time but to uncover any problems machine may have and in this test we identified them all. We will correct these in future overseas tests and bring the RC211V to the IRTA test next year in completed format. We have found the right direction to take and at this test in order to be ready at the opening round of the championship next April.<BR><BR>"Speaking about Daijiro Katoh I'm very pleased with him making such a brilliant first step with the NSR500. I expected him to do so. Of course he's just started on the 500 but he seems not to be satisfied with his performance. I'm very much looking forward to watching his progress from now on."<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh ran 52 laps at Jerez today working hard to find solutions to his problems of finding good chassis and suspension settings for the NSR500 caused by his slight frame and light weight.<BR><BR>Despite his problems Katoh was the fastest man at the three day test. He set a lap time of 1:42.4 today, well inside the existing lap record of 1:43.779 set by Valentino Rossi in May of this year, while riding an NSR500.<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh: "Today I concentrated on suspension settings for the bike but I couldn't find one to suit my style. I have a lot of chattering, both front and rear. The engine was better today and I'm beginning to get comfortable on the bike. At the Barcelona test, on December 6-7, I've got a lot of work to do.<BR><BR>"I can say the test has gone very well but many things can be better. I would like to be in complete top form when we get to Suzuka. We have a lot to learn about the bike and I can't wait to ride it again."<BR><BR>Team Kanemoto Honda rider Jurgen van der Goorbergh picked up the pace on the team's NSR500. The Dutchman improved his time over yesterday as he began to get more comfortable on the 185 PS plus V-4 two stroke.<BR><BR>Van der Goorbergh has no experience of a factory 4-cyl machine and has steadily built up speed on the bike over the three day test while testing the Bridgestone tyres the team will race with in the 2002 grand prix season.<BR><BR>Jurgen van den Goorbergh: "Today was about the same as yesterday for me, just a little better. We didn't do too much yesterday but today we tested different profile front tyres and found some that suit my style. The changes we made to the front forks also helped us with tyre performance.<BR><BR>"Of course we're not there yet. Over the three days we did not do too many laps. Everything is new to me, tyres, the bike the team and the way they work. The lap times improved over the three days, nothing special but I'm really pleased we came here.<BR><BR>"We have learned a lot of very valuable information for Bridgestone which will help them with development. We are still behind the opposition at the moment but I'm sure we have given them enough feedback to work with and improve. We couldn't really do more as our NSR has an awful lot of miles on it."<BR><BR>The Honda Gresini 250cc world championship team of Emilio Alzamora and Roberto Rolfo put their NSR250 Hondas through a hard day's work at Jerez, Alzamora testing new suspension systems and tyres while new man Rolfo continued to acquaint himself with the characteristics of the Honda.<BR><BR>Emilio Alzamora: "Not so bad. I really like the way the new suspension behaves, especially in the fast corners. The bike runs over the bumpy sections of this track very smoothly, I'm impressed. The bike is also better entering the corners, much more predictable. I like it.<BR><BR>"The complete test has been good for me. Today I did several laps at 1:44.9, which is good as I made the time alone on the track. We will test again at Barcelona on December 6-7 and use the information we gained here and try to improve further. It has been a very positive test for me all round."<BR><BR>Roberto Rolfo: "I'm really happy as I have a good feeling on the bike today, for the first time in the three days. On the first day I concentrated on the riding position, just to get comfortable on the bike before serious testing. On the second day I tried to find good machine settings but made mistakes, and had a small crash.<BR><BR>"Today I believe we have found a good base setting for me to work from in future but it was very difficult in the beginning with the position and settings to suit my style. But I also have to the characteristics of the bike and use the strong points.<BR><BR>"I'm particularly happy with the team and the way they work. I put in 60 laps today and my best time was 1:46.2 and I can run in 1:46s all day. I could have gone for one fast lap but it would not mean much. The important thing for me at this test was to learn about the NSR and the team, and get comfortable on the bike. Everything has been really positive at this test. I should be happy."<BR><BR><BR>Lap times:<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi, RC211V, 1:43.1, 49 laps<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa, RC211V, 1:43.00, 58 laps<BR><BR>Daijiro Katoh, NSR500, 1:42.4, 52 laps<BR><BR>Jurgen van der Goorbergh, NSR500, 1:44.1, 37 laps<BR><BR>Emilio Alzamora, NSR250, 1:46.9, 54 laps<BR><BR>Roberto Rolfo, NSR250, 1:46.2, 61 laps