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Jul 13, 2002

Rossi Rebounds From Friday's Crash And Takes MotoGP Pole In England, Hopkins 6th, Roberts 8th, Ukawa Out

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Final MotoGP Qualifying Results:<BR><BR>1. Valentino Rossi, Honda RC211V, 1:31.563<BR>2. Carlos Checa, Yamaha YZR-M1, 1:31.651<BR>3. Tetsuya Harada, Honda NSR500, 1:31.803<BR>4. Alex Barros, Honda NSR500, 1:31.828<BR>5. Max Biaggi, Yamaha YZR-M1, 1:31.906<BR>6. John Hopkins, Yamaha YZR500, 1:31.977<BR>7. Jeremy McWilliams, Proton KR3, 1:32.042<BR>8. Kenny Roberts, Suzuki GSV-R, 1:32.123<BR>9. Jurgen vd Goorbergh, Honda NSR500, 1:32.182<BR>10. Nobuatsu Aoki, Proton KR3, 1:32.361<BR>11. Daijiro Kato, Honda NSR500, 1:32.408<BR>12. Olivier Jacque, Yamaha YZR500, 1:32.446<BR>13. Norick Abe, Yamaha YZR500, 1:32.586<BR>14. Akira Ryo, Suzuki GSV-R, 1:32.707<BR>15. Shinya Nakano, Yamaha YZR500, 1:32.810<BR>16. Regis Laconi, Aprilia RS3, 1:32.861<BR>17. Sete Gibernau, Suzuki GSV-R, 1:33.055<BR>18. Garry McCoy, Yamaha YZR500, 1:33.153<BR>19. Alex Hofmann, Yamaha YZR500, 1:33.903<BR>20. Pere Riba, Yamaha YZR500, 1:34.009<BR>21. Tohru Ukawa, Honda RC211V, did not qualify<BR><BR><BR>More, from Red Bull Yamaha:<BR><BR>BRITISH GP - DONINGTON<BR>Final Qualifying - Saturday July 13th 2002<BR><BR>HOPKINS HITS THE SECOND ROW<BR><BR>John Hopkins has claimed the British GP as his "Home away from Home" race and his brilliant performance again today is winning him plenty of English fans. In the final qualifying session, Hopper was red-hot in the closing few minutes, pushing his two stroke Yamaha to the limit, to again claim the best performing YZR500 of the day. Hopkins who is younger than the reigning 125 Champion Manuel Poggiali and the current leader of the 250 Championship Marco Melandri, is in only the 8th GP of his career, making this, his rookie year simply outstanding. "Hopper" also achieved a 6th place grid position in Barcelona in Round 6 of the Championship.<BR><BR>The utterly determined, super-fit, American tumbled in this morning's free practice session after losing the front and sliding onto the grass at Craner Curve. Hopkins, who walked away unharmed was given a card from fans in the area welcoming him to the "Craner Curve Club." John is delighted to be in the company of such other prestigious riders, such as Doohan, Lawson and Schwantz but was hoping to avoid membership for some time to come.<BR><BR>Garry McCoy, who returns to racing after an 8 week recuperation, is disappointed in his qualifying today, even though he has improved on his times from yesterdays session and today's free practice. McCoy, a 3 times 500cc GP winner was on the front row of the grid here two years ago, and we know the 30 year old "Slide King" has the grit, ability and experience to finish in the front group tomorrow.<BR><BR>John Hopkins: 6th - 1:31.977<BR>"I achieved the time I wanted in the session getting into the 31's but I really was aiming for a front row start. I made a couple of mistakes in the final few hot laps when I was pushing really hard so I didn't have a clean run all the way through. I'm on the 2nd row in 6th position so I've equalled my best grid position of the season. My bikes working really well here and I'm confident that I will race well.<BR><BR>"I'm planning to finish in the top five tomorrow and I really think its possible with the Dunlops we have, they're working really well. I've got plenty of family support here this weekend and its great to see them in the crowd cheering me on."<BR><BR>Garry McCoy - 18TH 1:33.153<BR>"I'm a little disappointed. I thought I could of done better than that but maybe I'm expecting too much first time back after a long break. My best lap was on a race tyre and I really still haven't got use to getting the maximum out of a qualifying tyre which it seems the other guys are able to do."<BR><BR>Colin Davies (Race Engineer - John Hopkins)<BR>"A great session from John today and his done a fantastic job considering he has never raced here before. The crew did a good job in getting John's bike ready after this morning's tumble in the free practice. We really have to thank Dunlop, they are making great progress with the tyres and we're very pleased with the tyre-related feedback from John."<BR><BR>Christophe Bourguignon (Race Engineer -Garry McCoy)<BR>"Well, we are disappointed with our grid position but tomorrow is race day and that's what counts. Garry did his best lap on a race tyre today and I'm confident that he will race better than he qualified today."<BR><BR>Peter Clifford - Team Manager<BR>"Another sensational day from John and Garry has obviously clicked into gear as far as the race tyres are concerned but a blinding fast qualifying lap wasn't on the cards in his first outing."<BR><BR><BR> <BR>More, from Aprilia:<BR><BR><BR>Tough time for Régis Laconi at Donington<BR><BR>The Italo-French rider had a good free practice on the RS Cube in the morning, coming in with 10th best time, but the afternoon qualifying session was much harder. He was attempting to improve his lap time to secure a good position on tomorrow's starting grid, but problems of grip coming out of corners meant he was not able to improve on the 1'32.861 he made half an hour into the session (12th best performance at the time). Régis qualified sixteenth, putting him on the fourth row at the start of tomorrow's race.<BR> <BR><BR># 55 Régis Laconi ā€“ (MS APRILIA RACING) ā€“ 16° - 1'32.861<BR><BR>"My lap time on race tyres, during the free practice in the morning, put me into tenth place at the end of the session. But during the qualifying, it was quite clear that I'd have to reduce this time by quite a bit in order to secure a good place on the grid tomorrow. I just wasn't able to, and I still had the problems which have beset me in both of these first two days at Donington: when it's time to open up the gas coming out of the corners, the tyre slips and I have to do all I can to physically prevent coming a cropper. The track here is short, with rapid accelerations, and it's clear you need to use short gears to get the most out of it, but it's also clear that when you force all that power down onto the tarmac, you've just got to have adherence. That's what I haven't got. So it's hard to hope for a better result and I really do have my doubts about the race. I don't think the best tyres - the ones with the most constant grip - would last me out from beginning to end." <BR><BR><BR>