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Mar 19, 2002

Rossi, Ukawa, Katoh Testing Hondas At Suzuka

From a press release:<BR><BR>HONDA RACING NEWS<BR><BR>Honda HRC test - Day 1 - 19 March 2002<BR><BR><BR>On the opening day of the 2-day HRC test at the Suzuka circuit, Japan, the Repsol Honda riders and team technicians spent their time finding optimum settings for the RC211 V - four stoke Honda.<BR><BR>Team riders Valentino Rossi and Tohru Ukawa have virtually no Suzuka experience with the 5-cylinder 990cc RCV, and spent the majority of their time testing new parts for engine and suspension.<BR><BR>Tomorrow the test continues when the riders will develop new parts in ready-ness for the final pre-season test next week.<BR><BR>Valentino Rossi: 2:05.710<BR>"At the beginning of the test I had problems with traction and the suspension settings. But in the afternoon I began to understand better how to work on the RCV to find the best settings for me.<BR><BR>"Suzuka circuit is one of the most difficult tracks to set up a bike for racing. For example Suzuka feels much harder to work for me than Sepang. But after today I'm confident we are working in the right direction."<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa: 2:06.310<BR>"Although I know the Suzuka circuit well, today we were slow to find good settings for the RCV. After discussing everything with Valentino we both<BR>understand the direction we should take with this machine.<BR><BR>"At the end of the day I was satisfied with my lap times and with the settings I found. I am sure that tomorrow we will progress further and I<BR>will set better times."<BR><BR>Team Fortuna Honda Gresini, also attended the Suzuka test. Team rider Daijiro Katoh, the reigning 250cc Champion, was testing the team NSR500 -four cylinder- two stroke for the first time at the 5.859 km long Japanese circuit. Daijiro Katoh set a time of 2:07.3