Feb 26, 2003
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From a press release issued by Fortuna Yamaha:<BR><BR><BR>MotoGP pre-season IRTA Tests <BR>Wednesday 26 February 2003 (day 1 of 2) <BR>Estoril, Portugal <BR><BR>MELANDRI INJURED ON FIRST DAY WASH-OUT AT ESTORIL <BR><BR>The Fortuna Yamaha Team's pre-season testing programme has once again been blighted by bad weather. Having moved from Jerez in southern Spain, where the MotoGP teams effectively lost one of the three days' testing to bad weather, it was a similar story on day one of two at Estoril in Portugal. The Fortuna Yamaha Team in particular has suffered the effect of the elements this winter. The factory Yamaha squad wrote-off a rain-soaked three-day test in Jerez in January and today the rain caught out new-signing Marco Melandri. The 20-year-old Italian was testing Michelin's wet tyres when he low-sided on an uphill chicane on his second lap in the rain. He was taken to the Clinica Mobile where the medical staff confirmed that his right collar bone had separated from the shoulder blade. <BR><BR>Melandri had completed 22 laps prior to the fall with a best time of 1:43.8 on his first visit to Estoril with his new Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP machine. The injury will see the 2002 250cc World Champion return home, but he is expected back in action for the team's next scheduled test in Barcelona on 15/16 March. <BR><BR>The riders had enjoyed a brief spell in dry conditions before lunch, but the rain came soon after the mandatory one-hour break. Melandri's team-mate Carlos Checa managed a total of just 27 laps today, including some in the wet. The Spaniard recorded a fastest time of 1:42.1 on his seventh of fourteen dry laps aboard the latest evolution Yamaha YZR-M1. <BR><BR>Team Director Davide Brivio commented on the day's events: "Today's conditions were very difficult but it was a real shame that Marco fell. We've had more than our fair share of rain during testing this winter and he has coped with the conditions pretty well. But we all know that these things can happen. Thankfully it is not more serious and he'll be back with us in Barcelona after a bit of rest. <BR><BR>"Carlos did some work on wet set-up with his new bike, but when the track started drying in some places it wasn't worth carrying on." <BR><BR><BR>More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:<BR><BR>RAIN AND WIND PLAY HAVOC WITH ESTORIL TESTS FOR BAYLISS AND CAPIROSSI <BR><BR>Estoril (Portugal) - IRTA testing was again conditioned by bad weather, this time in Portugal, as rain and wind lashed the Estoril circuit today on day 1 of a two-day session and the Ducati Marlboro Team was unable to complete the scheduled programme. Violent storms and the occasional clear sky characterised this first day of testing, forcing the riders in and out of the pits. <BR><BR>Capirossi completed a total of 25 laps with a quickest time of 1:43.742, while Bayliss, who was seeing Estoril for the first time, did 41 laps as he got to grips with the circuit. His best time of 1:50.403 was set with intermediate tyres. Late in the morning, the only occasion in which slick tyres could be used, Troy was unable to go out on the track as his mechanics were working on the Desmosedici machine. <BR><BR>"We can't really be happy with a day like this" said Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli at the end of the day. "Conditions were absurd and it was difficult to work. Our programme is continuing however and we worked on bike set-up, both in wet and dry conditions, and did more tyre testing. Let's hope that tomorrow the weather improves and we can all get some work done." <BR><BR>"Another day with terrible weather" declared Loris, "but we have tested the wet weather set-up, even though the conditions were not ideal. First Jerez with the rain, now Estoril. Hopefully things will be better tomorrow." <BR><BR>"Today was the first time I've ever seen this place" commented Troy, "but even so I'm pleased with the way things went. For sure I would have liked to have tested in better conditions, but it's all part of the experience. We picked up some important data, regarding tyres and wet-weather settings."<BR><BR><BR><BR>