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Jan 25, 2003

The Fortuna Yamaha Riders Fall Mainly On The Plain In Spain

FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM TESTS <BR><BR>Valencia, Spain <BR><BR>25 January, 2003 <BR><BR>From a press release issued by Fortuna Yamaha:<BR><BR>FALLS INTERRUPT FIRST DAY OF VALENCIA TEST FOR FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM <BR><BR>Fortuna Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri both had unfortunate crashes in today's testing in Valencia, Spain. Despite warm and sunny conditions Spaniard Checa lost control of his YZR-M1 early on in the day, which meant he was forced to use his second bike in the afternoon. New Fortuna Yamaha Team rider Melandri also tumbled in the early stages of the test but was able to continue setting up the same bike during the afternoon. <BR><BR>Checa, who recorded a best time of 1:34.1, was disappointed with the time lost due to the fall, "We were working on engine-braking and mapping with my first bike when I lost control. The bike was damaged quite badly so we had to stop the job we were doing and switch to my second bike for the afternoon, which has a different set-up. We will continue chassis set-up with this bike tomorrow." <BR><BR>Melandri's first day of testing was not affected so badly by his small spill. "I braked too late going into the first turn", commented the Italian, "I wanted to turn regardless but there was some dirt on the line I was taking and I couldn't turn properly. The bike was ready again after about an hour, and we made some small adjustments to the chassis, which we will continue with tomorrow. For me it has been quite a positive day." <BR><BR>Yamaha riders Alex Barros and Shinya Nakano also tested at the Spanish circuit but Barros' team-mate Olivier Jacque was not present. He had an operation on his hand before Christmas and has decided to stay at home and return when his hand is strong enough for the IRTA tests next month. The first of the IRTA tests will take place in Jerez, Spain on 21,22,23 February. <BR><BR>LAP TIMES <BR><BR>Alex Barros, Gauloises Yamaha Team 1:33.4 <BR><BR>Shinya Nakano, Team Yamaha D'Antin 1:33.7 <BR><BR>Carlos Checa, Fortuna Yamaha Team 1:34.1 <BR><BR>Marco Melandri, Fortuna Yamaha Team 1:34.7 <BR><BR><BR><BR>