Capirossi crashes, Rossi goes quickest

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Valentino Rossi topped the time sheets at the final pre-season IRTA test at Suzuka, beating his own lap record with a 2:04.17s.

There were a number of crashes throughout the test, including Ducati’s Loris Capirossi, Camel Honda’s Tohru Ukawa, and Gauloises Yamaha’s Alex Barros, who found himself pushed in the gravel trap by Andrew Pitt.

The only serious injury to the front runners was that of Ukawa who fractured his knee, but is still expected to be fit to ride in qualifying on Friday.

Ukawa had posted the second quickest time of the day, with a 2:04.359, before poor weather stopped further challenges. Spirited efforts from Max Biaggi and Barros in bad conditions secured the pair third and fourth, with Gibernau fifth and Kato sixth.

The good news for rookie Colin Edwards is that his Aprilia RS3 appears to have overcome the problems that beset his test at Jerez earlier this month. He bagged the seventh-fastest time overall. Loris Capirossi took eighth on his first visit to the circuit on the Ducati Desmosedici.

Lap times were well up on last year’s despite changes made at Suzuka’s chicane which ahs been tightened and the addition of a new, tighter corner. The alterations have added an extra three metres to the circuit’s length. To read more about the changes at Suzuka, click the link on the right.

There’s still time to change your Fantasy Road Race team before the weekend, by following the link on the right.


1) Rossi 2:04.17. 2) Ukawa 2:04.359. 3) Biaggi 2:04.567. 4) Barros 2:04.605. 5) Gibernau 2:04.616. 6) Kato 2:04.629. 7) Edwards 2:04.846. 8) Capirossi 2:04.889. 9) Checa 2:04.908. 10) Haga 2:05.193.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff