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Dec 4, 2002

Ukawa Completes Debut MotoGP Test With Honda Pons At Valencia

From a press release issued by Honda Pons:<BR><BR>Excellent debut for Tohru Ukawa with Honda Pons<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa completed a very successful two days of private testing at the Comunitat Valenciana Circuit during which he rode for the first time the Honda Pons RC211V. The debut of the Japanese rider was very positive and over the two days he completed a total of 712 kilometres and set the fastest lap time of 1:33.7, one tenth quicker than the lap record established in the last Grand Prix by Alex Barros. The weather conditions were not favourable with cold temperatures (14 degrees) and wind. Tohru Ukawa will take part in another testing session from Monday to Wednesday next week at the Jerez Circuit which will be the last test of the year. The first testing in 2003 is planned to take place in Sepang (Malaysia) in mid-January.<BR><BR>Tohru Ukawa:<BR>"It has been an excellent start for me and I am very happy with my debut in the new team which is very professional. Everything has gone very well for me and the proof is that I have set my fastest lap ever at the Valencia circuit. The track conditions, with cold winds, were not exactly ideal, but I felt comfortable on the bike and I think with this team we will be able to do some very interesting things this year".<BR><BR>Antonio Cobas (Technical Director):<BR>"Two very productive days testing for the team, concentrating on three aspects of work: defining the method of working together for next season, working on the settings, and carrying out various tyre tests. Everything has gone very smoothly, as the results demonstrate. It has been the first testing session together and we have started our relationship with Tohru in a most positive way".<BR><BR>Sito Pons:<BR>"Today we have got to know Tohru Ukawa better and the truth is that he has demonstrated to me just what a professional and serious-minded rider he is. He is also very easy to work with. This first session together was very important for the rider to know the way the team works and for our technical team to start to understand the way Tohru rides and his technical necessities. For me the results of these tests are really exceptional as he has set his fastest lap ever at the circuit and has ridden under the lap record".<BR>