by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 40
>>MOTOpreview FIAT YAMAHA Only evolutionary changes to the M1 Yamaha, but it was good enough to take Valentino Rossi to victory last year even if the Ducati was faster, and not only in a straight line. It’s a well- balanced bike that suits all sorts of riders, none of them as good as the Italian darling of racing. But then nobody is. Rossi appeared unfazed at lagging behind Stoner in tests: “Testing is only to get the bike right,”he affirmed. A close fight is just what he needs to keep his focus sharp, so he can deploy his phenomenal talent. He’ll get one, from his own team-mate, as well as from last year’s rival Stoner. In his second year, showman Jorge Lorenzo adds maturity to his blazing speed, suggesting he will be more consistent thanv last season. His hurdle was to adapt from Michelin to Bridgestone, and he’s done that very rapidly and successfully after a slow start. The Yamaha pair is tipped to take two of the top three places. We’ll have to wait and see which two. RIZLA SUZUKI Two things have been notable pre-season. One is that the blue bikes have been conspicuously higher up the order. The other is the chorus from riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen, demanding more top speed. Not an unusual request, but indicative of some frustration, coming with the unfamiliar feeling that they might just be fully competitive. Suzuki’s few good results have come generally in special circumstances, usually involving rain – conditions in which Vermeulen (the marque’s first race winner since 2001) particularly excels. A factory personnel change may be the key. Former on-track manager Shinichi Sahara has returned to factory headquarters, and team staff credit him with the improvement. At 35, Capirossi is not quite the oldest rider … that’s Gibernau. In spite of several predictions that he was past his sell-by date, the former 125 and 250 champion proved as 49 spirited and hungry as ever last year. Vermeulen is more of a slow-burner; but when things are right he is both consistent and forceful. Could be looking at a good season ahead for the only England-based team.