Katoh and two-stroke NSR blast back at Jerez

Published: 25 November 2001

DAIJIRO KATOH blew away the myth that the four-strokes will blitz old two-stroke 500s with an awesome performance at Honda's test yesterday in Jerez.

With only his second appearance on the works NSR the reigning world 250 champion ended the three-day session with the fastest time of 1.42.8.

That was a massive 1.3s inside Rossi's lap record set when he won the Spanish GP back in May and equalled the outright fastest lap ever at Jerez, also held by the Italian.

His quickest time was also a full two seconds inside his own 250 lap record as he showed no signs of struggling to adapt to the heavier and more powerful 500.

And ominously for his 2002 rivals, the 25-year-old Japanese rider claimed afterwards that he was still nowhere near happy with the set-up of the Dunlop-shod NSR.

Katoh's biggest problem was rear wheelspin. He only weighs in at 58kg and with 190bhp on tap, there simply isn't enough weight being pushed down on the rear tyre under acceleration.

Katoh said: "I have lapped very well but I think I can go even faster when the bike has been adapted to my size and riding style. I am struggling to get a good feeling from the suspension. We will have to improve a lot in that area if we are going to be competitive."