Jerez Spain

Raceday Sunday May 11


 A partisan crowd of 130,000 had to be disappointed with the early departures of their Spanish heroes Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) and Carlos Checa (Yamaha) in the first half of the race. But no one could begrudge Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V) his second win of the season in the searing conditions that saw the track temperature at 41 degrees.
Rossi won in style with a stand-up wheelie across the line while second-placed Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati) were slightly were more reserved in their celebrations of second and third places respectively.
The 27-lap MotoGP race began with a mad rush into the uphill right-hand turn one and it was Troy Bayliss (Ducati) who rocketed into the lead as the pack bumped and bored its way around the first circuit of the 4.423km track. His team-mate Loris Capirossi collided with him on the back straight and came off better in the altercation. He grabbed the lead.
But Rossi was already sizing up his Italian rival Capirossi having hoisted himself from seventh to second by the end of the first lap. Rossi’s ability to carve his way through the chaos of the opening lap gave him the impetus he needed to stalk Capirossi and then dive inside him at the final left-hand hairpin on lap four. And then he was gone.
Lap after lap he piled on the agony for his pursuers putting anything between two and four tenths of a second into the gap between his number 46 machine and the RC211V of his erstwhile antagonist Max Biaggi. Biaggi could easily maintain the second place he grabbed on lap six but he could make no impression on the rampaging Rossi.
With Biaggi out of Bayliss’ range in second and Bayliss similarly clear of the rest of the field, the action was concentrated on fourth place and beyond. It eventually went to Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons RC211) from Alex Barros (Yamaha) but not without a huge fight from the inspired rookie Makoto Tamada (Pramac Honda RC211V) along the way.
Rossi, who set a new lap record of 1m 42.788s on lap five on his way to GP win number 52, now has a tally of five wins at this happy Spanish hunting ground. “I’m happy,” he said. “The biggest problem everyone had was traction and we knew we had to work on making the bike controllable even with large amounts of wheel-spin. I had a bad start but I didn’t want anyone to get away and so I had to make a lot of places up before I got behind Capirossi. I had a bit more speed than him and that was it.”
Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) was more relieved than happy at securing a solid points haul when he was in danger of coming away with little or nothing in the early qualifying stages. “I’m happy with this after the qualifying troubles,” he said. “On Friday I was down in 12th, then I was on the front row on Saturday and now today a podium. Everyone dreams of winning and riding with the number one plate but in these conditions you take what you can get. I had a lot of fun overtaking other riders in the early laps but it was quite lonely towards the end.”
Things got better as the race wore on for Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons RC211) who wasted a front row grid slot with a sluggish start and then couldn’t push through the field until after mid-race distance. “The bike was not giving me enough confidence to push at the start,” said the Japanese star. “Then as the race went on things actually got better and I could make up places, but it was too late to make decent progress. Maybe there’s a small problem with me too, I seem to take too long to get into a rhythm at the moment.”
For Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) it was all a case of what might have been. “It was a real shame,” said the Spaniard. “When I was chasing Valentino the front end let go. I didn’t want to settle for second in front of this great crowd but I still have to adapt to this bike. We’re staying to test tomorrow and hopefully I’ll arrive at Le Mans with another chance of winning.”
Makoto Tamada (Pramac Honda RC211V) made his rookie tag look faintly ridiculous as he stormed to sixth in only his third MotoGP race and his first visit to Jerez. “I’m very satisfied,” he said. “A day like this really pumps up the motivation. This is what we need to move forward and I’m really looking to the Le Mans race although we need to remember not to get carried away with this result.”
Nicky Hayden (Respsol Honda RC211V) went out on lap nine. “My start wasn’t great,” he said. “Then I caught a good group and got into a rhythm before the engine felt a little slower. Then I fell off and I’m disappointed because I knew I was going to finish higher. I’m aching a bit now as it was a pretty fast fall.” Rossi leads the points standings after three races with 70, Biaggi is second on 56 points with Bayliss on 40 and Gibernau with 38.
A scintillating 250 race was won by home-ground hotshot Tony Elias (Aprilia) who came out on top of a four-way last lap fight for the second 250 race win of his career. Roberto Rolfo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) grabbed second with Randy De Puniet third. “We are starting to get somewhere,” said Rolfo. “I could ride round the outside of the Aprilias in the corners but just didn’t quite have the acceleration to get past them. I had to concentrate at 100% all through the race and when the rear tyre started to go off in the middle of the race I was worried but I guess it was the same for the others as I didn’t lose too much ground.”
Sebastian Porto (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS250RW) rode a typically gritty race to sixth carrying a painful injury. “This has been the worst weekend of my life,” said the Argentine. “I had engine problems and then I crashed and the bike ran over my neck in qualifying. I was in pain in the race and couldn’t turn my head very much at all. I’ll take the 10 points because these are the sort of rides you need to put in with a Championship at stake.”
Alex Debon (Troll Honda BQR RS250RW) finished ninth. “I am happy with my race,” he said. “The team did a great job. The bike was almost perfect, despite the hot conditions it only lost a little power. I hope this is the beginning of some good results for us.” Manuel Poggiali (Aprilia) who finished fourth head the points table with 63, Rolfo lies second with 40 with De Puniet and Porto tied with 36 in third.
The 125 Grand Prix was won by Lucio Cecchinello (Aprilia) with Steve Jenkner (Aprilia) second and Alex De Angelis (Aprilia) in third. Daniel Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS125R) finished fourth after getting wrapped up in a fierce fight with Stefano Perugini (Aprilia) on the final two laps. “I’m really not happy with the race,” said Pedrosa. “But the result will have to do. I know everyone’s expected to fight to the maximum but not the way Perugini did it picking impossible lines and generally losing us the chance of staying with group. And now I’ve lost the Championship lead.”
Andrea Dovisioso (Team Scot Racing RS125R) finished ninth after leading the early laps. “I chose a hard compound tyre for the front and rear,” he said. “The front was perfect but the rear started sliding early in the race and I could do nothing to stay with the leaders. Aprilia have been here testing several times and it helped them in the race.”
The world Championship points table now shows Jenkner on 52 points after three races, Pedrosa tied on 46 with Cecchinello and Dovisioso fourth with 38.

MotoGP
Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda, 1st :”I’m happy with the win. The biggest problem for everyone was traction and during the practice we worked hard on race set-up so that we could control the bike under spinning conditions. Racing at this track is always a dream for a rider to perform in front of so many people. It’s fantastic. At the start I lost time ­ I went wide to avoid a rider and lost time. Then I see Gibernau and Capirossi going away and I don’t want the same thing as South Africa so I push. I make a good lap and overtake four or five riders and arrive behind Capirossi. I was a little bit more fast and it was possible to go. 25 points is very important for me to take 100%.”
Max Biaggi, Camel Pramac Pons, 2nd :”I’m really pleased with my results because, even if a rider’s thought goes always to the win, looking where we were on Friday, the progress we made has been great. The race has been funny only in the first laps. Entering the first turn somebody touched me on the rear and made me loosing the best line. Everybody was really hot looking only for going into the turn without thinking how to get out!. I remained calm even if I found myself in fifth position. I got my fun overtaking the others till I arrive in second position, after then the race became quite boring. The weather so warm made the pace quite slow compared to this morning and yesterday also. I think I got the 100% from my bike and that this result was the maximum I could hope for. The team has been great sorting out the problems we had on Friday and I wish to thanks them for this. We’ll go on working race by race without thinking to much to the future and we’ll try to take advantage of every occasions, if there will be some.”
Tohru Ukawa, Camel Pramac Pons, 4th :”at the start of the race the bike was sliding a lot and I did not feel to confident, but as the laps went by I started to feel better and in the end I had an excellent feeling on the bike. The same thing happened to me at Suzuka, but clearly this time it was too late in the race to challenge for the lead. The set-up was not perfect but you have to accept that not everything is perfect in the world of racing. I hope to make another important step forward in Le Mans and battle for a podium finish. So I think that the testing we will be carrying out there on suspensions and the engine will be a great help.”
Sito Pons, Team Manager: “We are very satisfied with the performance of our riders, both on whom have once again shown their true class. Max tried everything and has achieved the best result that we could have hoped for here today, while Tohru finished very strongly. I would also like to highlight the enormous amount of work and dedication our technical team have put in to prepare the bikes for the race.”
Makoto Tamada, Pramac Honda, 6th :” A real uphill race, with a fight to reach the head of the pack. When it was time to make my attack, I was no longer able to deliver all the power down to the ground because I was losing grip at the rear. I got past Barros and Ukawa by shutting down the throttle at the very last moment and braking harder. Two fine duels. But then, after three laps in fourth place, I had to let them by. When I’m decelerating, I still get vibrations that make the saddle painful and riding extremely difficult. But if we can solve these little snags, we’ll be able to go even faster. But I’m very satisfied as it is. A day like this really pumps up the motivation. This is what we need to go forwards and get better and better. Now I can look forward to the Le Mans race with real confidence, even though I know we mustn’t overdo things: we’ve got to take one step at a time.”
Sete Gibernau, Telefonica Movistar Honda, dnf : “What can I say? It was a real shame. This weekend was difficult because we have had many changes. It was my first race on this machine, I made a good start up to second but when I was chasing Valentino the front end went from underneath me. We have loaded quite a lot of weight onto the front end of the bike and that made it difficult to turn. I still have to adapt to this bike but here in Jerez, in front of this great crowd, I did not want to settle for second place. I want to go for everything but it wasn’t to be. I am sorry for all the people who have come here to support me and for my team who have worked so hard. . Tomorrow we will stay to test and hopefully will arrive at Le Mans with a chance of victory”.
FAUSTO GRESINI, Team Manager: “It was a real shame. I think we had a chance of making the podium. Crashes, like so many other things that happen during a race, are part of this sport. That’s racing” Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, dnf :”I’m really pretty disappointed because after a difficult couple of qualifying days we actually had the bike going quite good. My start was not so great and in all the jockeying for position in the first corner I got knocked by someone and my whole brake lever system got twisted round. I then out-braked myself and managed to get sorted and got into quite a good rhythm and began to work my way forward. I caught up a good group and picked up a few places and then felt the engine slow a little. I fell off pretty quick ­ not really too sure what happened ­ all I do know is I’m disappointed as I knew I was going to finish higher and I’m aching a bit now ­ it was a fast place to fall.”


 250cc race:
Roberto Rolfo, Fortuna Honda, 2nd: “We are starting to get somewhere with the engine, it was not so bad today. But we need more acceleration. The team worked really, really well here and the chassis was near perfect. We continue to improve all the time. In the race  could ride around the outside of the Aprilia’s in the corners but couldn’t get in front of them. The difference is only the lack of acceleration. I had to concentrate at 100% all through the race. When the rear tyre started to go off in the middle of the race I was a little worried but I stayed with them and it paid of at the finish.”
Sebastien Porto, Telefonica MoviStar Honda Junior Team, 6th: “This is the worst weekend of my racing life. I am happy it’s over. We have been having problems with the engine and then my crash when the bike ran over my neck. It was very painful and uncomfortable in the race, I couldn’t turn my head at all. Still, it was important to race as hard as I could and finish with some points. I’m happy with sixth position, and the 10 points. That is the important thing, take points for the championship classification.”
Alex Debon, Troll Honda BQR, 9th: “I am happy with my race and thank my team for this good result, they did a great job. The bike was almost perfect, despite the hot conditions it only lost a little power. I hope this result is the first in a line of good results for us.”


125cc race.
Daniel Pedrosa, Telefonica Movistar Junior Team, 4th :”I am not happy at all with this race, not just with the result but with the real reason for it, which was the attitude of Perugini. I know that you have to fight to the maximum in the races, but not in this way. It was in both our interests to push hard and make sure the lead three didn’t escape, and maybe try something on the last lap ­ not try and pick impossible lines with three laps still remaining and risking a crash for both of us. At the start I tried to escape but when  I saw it was not possible I dropped back to try and control my rivals. The bike was going well and I thought I had a chance. But I wasn’t counting on the actions of Perugini. The result is that I have lost the leadership and I was unable to fight for the victory as I would have liked”.
Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Racing Honda, 9th: “I chose a hard compound tyre for the front and rear. The front was perfect but the rear started sliding early in the race and I could do nothing to stay with the leaders. Aprilia have been here testing several times and it helped them in the race. Still, the main problem today was the sliding rear tyre.”
Masao Azuma, Ajo Motorsports Honda, 11th: “We changed many things on the suspension for the warm up. In the race I tried to follow the top group but they had too much acceleration and I could not. It was very hot today and that was the problem, my engine was just not quite perfect. It was a very hard race in these conditions.”
Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda, 12th: “My start was perfect I caught four guys on the first lap. Later in the race I ran wide and let three of them back passed me but fought back to lead the group. On the last lap I knew Azuma was right behind me so I chose a line that would keep him there but I had a big slide and he got passed.”
Mika Kallio, Ajo Motorsports Honda, 16th: “My start was not so bad but I got hit by another rider on the first lap and he pushed me wide. A lot of guy’s came passed me and I just lost too much time. I was sliding really badly Lorenzo was in front of me and he was not having the same problem so I tried to use his lines but it made no difference.”
Simone Corsi, Scot racing Honda, 21st: “I didn’t have a good feeling at all in the race. I was in some pain from my crash in practice and decided not to push too hard.”

RESULTS RACE :

MotoGP
Race Classification MotoGP: (27laps=119.421)
Pos/Rider/Nation/Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h
1/  Valentino ROSSI /ITA /Repsol Honda /HONDA/46m50.345/152.976
2/  Max BIAGGI /ITA /Camel Pramac Pons /HONDA/46m56.678/152.632
3/  Troy BAYLISS /AUS /Ducati Marlboro Team /DUCATI/47m02.422/152.321
4/  Tohru UKAWA /JPN /Camel Pramac Pons /HONDA/47m06.531/152.100
5/  Alex BARROS /BRA /Gauloises Yamaha Team /YAMAHA/47m08.975/151.968
6/  Makoto TAMADA /JPN /Pramac Honda /HONDA/47m14.498/151.672
7/  John HOPKINS /USA /Suzuki Grand Prix Team /SUZUKI/47m21.304/151.309
8/  Shinya NAKANO /JPN /d’Antín Yamaha Team /YAMAHA/47m21.563/151.295
9/  Nobuatsu AOKI /JPN /Proton Team KR /PROTON KR/47m26.347/151.041
10/  Olivier JACQUE /FRA /Gauloises Yamaha Team /YAMAHA/47m27.911/150.958
11/  Noriyuki HAGA /JPN /Alice Aprilia Racing /APRILIA/47m34.098/150.630
12/  Jeremy McWILLIAMS /GBR /Proton Team KR /PROTON KR/47m34.239/150.623
13/  Kenny ROBERTS /USA /Suzuki Grand Prix Team /SUZUKI/47m39.236/150.360
14/  Colin EDWARDS /USA /Alice Aprilia Racing /APRILIA/47m42.473/150.190
15/  Andrew PITT /AUS /Kawasaki Racing Team /Kawasaki/47m58.524/149.352
Fastest Lap: Valentino ROSSI /1m42.788 /154.909 km/h

World Championship Positions:
1 ROSSI 70,

2 BIAGGI 56,

3 BAYLISS 40,

4 GIBERNAU 38,

5 BARROS 30,

6 UKAWA 23

7 NAKANO 20,

8 HAYDEN 18,

9 CAPIROSSI 16,

10 HOPKINS 15,

11 ABE 13,

12 CHECA 13

13 JACQUE 13,

14 EDWARDS 12,

15 TAMADA 12.

250cc
Race Classification 250cc: (26 laps = 114.998 km)
Pos/Rider/Nation/Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h
1/Toni ELIAS /SPA /Team Repsol Telefonica Movistar
/APRILIA/46m10.793/149.413
2/Roberto ROLFO /ITA /Fortuna Honda /HONDA/46m11.314/149.385
3/Randy De Punet /FRA /Safilo Oxydo-LCR /APRILIA/46m11.332/149.384
4/Manuel POGGIALI /RSM /MS Aprilia Team /APRILIA/46m11.400/149.380
5/Anthony WEST /AUS /Team Zoppini Abruzzo /APRILIA/46m22.841/148.766
6/Sebastian PORTO /ARG /Telefonica Movistar jnr Team
/HONDA/46m24.997/148.651
7/Fonsi NIETO /SPA /Team Repsol Telefonica Movist /APRILIA/46m33.256/148.211
8/Naoki MATSUDO /JPN /Yamaha Kurz /YAMAHA/46m48.633/147.400
9/Alex DEBON /SPA /Troll Honda BQR /HONDA/46m53.613/147.139
10/Joan OLIVE /SPA /Aspar Junior Team /APRILIA/46m59.614/146.826
11/Franco BATTAINI /ITA /Campetella Racing /APRILIA/47m02.978/146.651
12/Alex BALDOLINI /ITA /Matteoni Racing /APRILIA/47m05.497/146.520
13/Eric BATAILLE /FRA /Troll Honda BQR /HONDA/47m06.882/146.448
14/Christian GEMMEL /GER /Kiefer Castrol-Honda Racing
/HONDA/47m08.501/146.364
15/Dirk HEIDORF /GER /Aprilia Germany / APRILIA/47m14.226/146.069
Fastest Lap: Manual POGGIALI / 1m45.350s / Lap2

World Championship Positions:
1 POGGIALI 63,

2 ROLFO 40,

3 DE PUNIET 36,

4 PORTO 36,

5 ELIAS 33,

6 BATTAINI 32

7 NIETO 28,

 8 MATSUDO 22,

9 WEST 21,

10 AOYAMA 20,

11 TAKAHASHU 16,

12 GUINTOLI 13,

13 DEBON 12,

14 OLIVE 9,

15 BALDOLINI 8.

125cc
Race Classification 125cc : (23 laps = 101.729km )
Pos/Rider/Nation/Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h
1/  Lucio CECCHINELLO /ITA /Safilo Oxydo-LCR /APRILIA/41m52.177/145.779
2/  Steve JENKNER /GER /Exalt Cycle Red Devil /APRILIA/41m52.265/145.774
3/  Alex De ANGELIS /RSM /Racing World /APRILIA/41m52.555/145.757
4/  Daniel PEDROSA /SPA /Telefonica Movistar jnr Team /HONDA/41m53.562/145.699
5/  Stefano PERUGINI /ITA /Abruzzo Racing Team /APRILIA/41m53.684/145.692
6/  Casey STONER /AUS /Safilo Oxydo-LCR /APRILIA/42m03.579/145.121
7/  Hector BARBERA /SPA /Master-MXOnda-Aspar Team /APRILIA/42m03.673/145.115
8/  Youichi UI /JPN /Sterilgarda Racing /APRILIA/42m07.754/144.811
9/  Andrea DOVIZIOSO /ITA /Team Scot /HONDA/42m10.781/144.708
10/  Mirko GIANSANTI /ITA /Matteoni Racing /APRILIA/42m11.074/144.691
11/  Masao Azuma /JPN / Ajo Motorsports / HONDA/42m15.709/144.426
12/  Thomas LUTHI /SWI /Elit Grand Prix /HONDA/42m15.777/144.422
13/  Gino BORSOI /ITA /Racing World /APRILIA/42m15.987/144.410
14/  Marco SIMONCELLI /ITA /Matteoni Racing /APRILIA/42m.16.385/144.388
15/  Jorge LORENZO /SPA /Caja Madrid Derbi Racing /DERBI/42m17.316/144.335
Fastest Lap: Stefano PERUGINI / 1m47.766s / 147.753 Km/h /Lap6

World Championship Positions:
1 JENKNER 52,

2 PEDROSA 46,

3 CECCHINELLO 46,

4 DOVIZIOZO 38,

5 PERUGINI 36

6 UI 31,

7 GIANSANTI 27,

8 DE ANGELIS 26,

9 NIETO 20,

10 STONER 16,

11KALLIO 14

12 BORSOI 14,

13 BARBERA 12,

14 AZUMA 12,

15 LUTHI 11.

 Before the Race comments  1

    Next Sunday’s Spanish GP – third of 16 rounds in the World Championship – is another push in the drive to become competitive for Team Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts Jr. and John Hopkins.
The race at Jerez, first round of the week-on/week-off European season, is the third race for the all-new Suzuki GSV-R 990cc racing prototype. Team and riders go to the Andalucian track well aware that there is much work still remaining to unleash the full potential of the beast.
Race day is devoted as always to getting the best possible results. At the same time, the two days of qualifying will see them looking at the bigger picture – and the task of finalizing race-ready base settings for the powerful and innovative V4 four-stroke. In this way, they can solve the puzzle of how to make the Suzuki GP machine perform with the same easy superiority as the world-beating GSX-R1000 street machine.
Directly after the race, the work will continue. Team Suzuki go from Jerez to the Catalunya GP track at Barcelona, for three more days of intensive testing. In this way, they will drive development forward, to unlock the latent potential of the purpose-built new machine. And to get into a position to challenge once more for the World Championship that Suzuki last won in 2000.
The victorious rider was Roberts, on a 500cc two-stroke RGV Gamma. Since then there has been a sea-change in racing, with the class opened to the powerful new 990cc prototypes in 2002. Now Kenny and new team-mate John Hopkins are working together towards playing a leading role in the new future.
So far this year, the second MotoGP season, there have been two different winners in two races – an early fulfilment of prophecies of the most competitive and exciting ever year of World Championship racing. The 24-strong grid hosts the biggest ever number of manufacturers in a field comprising no less than ten former world champions.
The Suzuki pair have finished in the points in each race, but far short of the ultimate aims of both riders, with neither able to challenge for top positions. This is another reflection of the highly competitive state of the sport, and an illustration that the full potential of the sophisticated and ground-breaking new-technology Suzuki GSV-R has yet to be achieved.
“We’ve been working very hard, and we will continue to work very hard,” said team manager Garry Taylor, facing the task in hand with the confidence and determination that inspires not only the whole team, but also the Suzuki factory staff, toiling back in Japan to find the perfect combination of engine design detail and electronic engine mapping that will help the riders
push for the rostrum results they know they deserve. To this end, the team plan to draft in extra riding experience for the three days of testing. “The more information we can gain the faster we can put it all together,” said Taylor.
The Jerez race is a landmark of the calendar, marking the start of the gruelling European season after the two opening “fly-aways” in Japan and South Africa. Huge crowds of well over 100,000 avid fans, starved over the winter of the on-track action they crave, will throng to the Andalucian circuit, to make Jerez the capital city of bike racing for what is traditionally a spectacular weekend. This is the first of three races in Spain, with the Catalunyan and Valencia rounds to follow, as well as fourth Iberian race in Portugal.

The next round in the 16-race calendar is the French GP, in two weeks.

KENNY ROBERTS Jr.: WORK GOES ON
I’m not really looking forward to this race. The level of our bike at the moment means I can’t race up front, and that’s frustrating when I know what we are capable of doing. Work goes on ..

JOHN HOPKINS: A FUN TRACK TO LEARN ON
Jerez is a fun track, and I enjoyed it a lot last year when I raced there for the first time. This year that kind of thing is easier for me . I’m going back to tracks rather than learning new ones. I’ll do the best I can, and hope we can continue getting the bike better every time we go out.

ABOUT THIS RACE
Jerez celebrates its 17th year as a GP venue, but only its 16th as host to the Spanish GP. The exception was in 1988, when the race was intended to be the Portuguese GP, renamed the Expo 92 GP at the last minute. By then the event was already becoming well-established as an important start to the European season, attracting huge crowds to the venue outside the capital of Spain’s sherry district, between Cadiz and Seville. The crowds kept on growing over the years, as did the race’s importance, in line with Spain’s growing love affair with GP racing. Now it is the first of four events on the Iberian peninsula, where motorcycle GP racing is second in popularity only to soccer. The Spanish GP also coincides with a number of springtime Fieras in the region, making it an early holiday race for crowds, who can expect sunny if not necessarily always hot weather.

ABOUT THIS TRACK
The circuit at Jerez de la Frontera began a major upgrade last year, with the track fully resurfaced, and pit and paddock buildings extensively rebuilt to bring the showpiece of Spanish racing up to the standards of newer tracks at Barcelona and Valencia. The track was originally commissioned by the municipality of Jerez in the late Eighties with a twisting lap making good use of the surrounding hillsides to provide natural grandstands giving extensive views. The first layout was not universally popular with riders, but the track was lengthened slightly in 1992, replacing one slow section with faster curves. The result was exemplary, much improving the track with a minimum of disruption. Since that time the venue has grown in stature and popularity to become one of Europe’s premier motor sport events, drawing weekend crowds in excess of 200,000.
With a lap of 2.748 miles (4.423km) and a lap record speed of 95mph (153km/h), Jerez is still a fairly slow circuit, but with enough faster corners to make it interesting. A quirk is extreme sensitivity to temperature, with grip levels changing morning to afternoon.

GP DATA

Jerez de la Frontera

Circuit Length: 2.748 miles / 4.423 km)
Lap Record: 1:42.920 – 96.132 mph / 154.710 km/h. Valentino Rossi, 2002
2002 Race Winner: V Rossi (Honda)
2002 Race Average: 46.51.843 – 95.004 mph / 152.894 km/h.
2002 Fastest Race Lap: see lap record
2002 Pole Position: V Rossi 1:42.193
2002 Kenny Roberts: Eighth, qualified ninth (Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki).
2002 John Hopkins: 13th, qualified 16th (Yamaha)

Before the Race comments  2

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM MAKES LONG-AWAITED EUROPEAN MotoGP DEBUT

    Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi bring the awesome Desmosedici to Spain this weekend for its long-awaited European race debut at Jerez, the first and biggest Grand Prix of the Continental MotoGP campaign. Bayliss, Capirossi and the 220-plus horsepower Italian V4 made headlines at the season-opening Japanese and Africa’s GPs, leading both races and dazzling fans with speed and noise ­ the snarling 16,000rpm Desmosedici is music to the ears of any Motorsport fan.
    The Ducati Marlboro Team’s entry into MotoGP has brought a whole new dynamic to the class, adding the kind of passion, colour and excitement that only the legendary Italian marque could bring. And the team’s season-opening performances have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, Capirossi making the podium at Suzuka, Bayliss now fourth overall in the riders’ points chase and Ducati currently second in the manufacturers’ World Championship!
    Jerez, which regularly attracts in excess of 200,000 fans, is the first of nine European races that make up more than half of the 16-race 2003 MotoGP campaign. The racing moves out of Europe again in late September, the season concluding at Valencia, Spain, on November 2.

GREAT RESULTS EQUAL HIGHER EXPECTATIONS
The Ducati Marlboro Team’s remarkable start to its MotoGP adventure has delighted race fans around the world. Despite the marque’s illustrious history of World Superbike success, no one quite expected so much, so soon in MotoGP. Capirossi’s and Bayliss’ speed during qualifying and racing has already put them ahead of many of the rival teams, who have much greater experience in GP racing. And yet, as befits the team’s hard-working but laidback style, the Bologna-based crew isn’t letting the hype and hubbub affect its approach to racing, instead keeping its feet very much on the ground, knowing full well that its riders’ stunning pace only increases expectations.

   “We achieved great results in the first two races,” says Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. “It’s a nice feeling but the pressure within the team to stay there is very high, and we know we still have a lot of learning to do.”

    The riders and engineers are particularly looking forward to Jerez, since they have some knowledge of the circuit. They commenced the Japanese GP with just a few hours of track time and went to South Africa with zero track knowledge. But they do know Jerez, having visited the circuit three times during the winter. The data gained from those tests will be crucial this weekend, even though Capirossi’s and Bayliss’ bikes have changed substantially since then, as it’s normal in a very young bike as the Desmosedici.

    “The bikes are very different in set-up compared to when we last went to Jerez in February, but basically the same as they were at Welkom,” says Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. “We are now much closer to having a good front/rear balance ­ both the riders are happy. Now when we make changes, the riders often say they don’t like them, which is a sign that the bike is much closer to how it should be! In the early stages of our testing programme the riders would like whatever changes we made.
“Last time we went to Jerez we had wheel-spin problems, but traction was much better at Suzuka and Welkom, so it should be good for Jerez. We made some important changes to front-end geometry before Welkom, but both ends affect one another, you improve the front and that can help the rear, and vice versa.”

    Cecchinelli expects Jerez to be a good test of the Desmosedici. “It’s a complete track, so it’s good for testing. It has fast and slow corners, uphill braking into turn one and downhill braking into the hairpin, so you need a well balanced bike, with a good compromise set-up.”

The Ducati Marlboro Team will stay at Jerez to test on Tuesday, May 13.

ALL-ACTION BAYLISS ­ SOME ROOKIE!
Troy Bayliss may officially be a MotoGP rookie, but he seems anything but in reality. The Australian’s all-action performances at last month’s Japanese and Africa’s GPs were nothing less than sensational, marking an extraordinary arrival in MotoGP both for himself and for the Ducati Marlboro Team.
    The former World Superbike champion qualified on the fourth row for his MotoGP debut at Suzuka but rocketed through to finish fifth, even though he was the only rider present with no race experience of the complex Japanese track. Two weeks ago at Welkom in South Africa he qualified on row three, just under 0.6 of a second from the pole position time, swept into the lead until one-third distance and finished fourth. During the race he enjoyed a frantic six-lap battle with Valentino Rossi (Honda), showing no quarter to the World Champion. For many fans the pair’s duel was the highlight of the race.
    Jerez is particularly significant for Bayliss because it’s the first MotoGP event he’ll contest with any real track knowledge. The Aussie tested at Jerez three times during the winter but has yet to race in anger there. “I’m looking forward to it, because it’ll be nice to get to a track where I know my way around,” says Bayliss, who is delighted with development progress, especially with the fruits of a pre-Welkom tests at Mugello, when his crew took crucial steps forward on chassis set-up.
   “Now it feels more like my bike,” he explains. “It’s better into corners and mid-turn and we’re not getting so much spin on the exits. Before, the bike always needed to be on its side, so we were right on the side of the tyre, now you can pick it up easier and get onto the fatter part of the tyre for the drive out of the corner.”
    Bayliss heads to Jerez motivated, optimistic and in great shape, as his results showed at the “Granfondo 5 colli”, the renowned annual bicycle race that takes place around Bologna. Cycling is my next passion after racing, and coming in 12th place out of a total of 1253 participants after a good 83 Km was exactly the boost I needed before Spain!”


CAPIROSSI AIMS FOR THE PODIUM AGAIN
Loris Capirossi comes to Jerez determined to fight for another podium result to back up his phenomenal third-place finish at the season-opening Japanese Grand Prix, where he astounded onlookers by leading the first few laps. The Italian followed that performance at Welkom a fortnight ago by scoring the Ducati Marlboro’s Team’s first front-row start, but he was unluckier in the race, withdrawing after two off-track excursions.
    Capirossi has been awesome to behold on the Desmosedici, and he believes that Sunday’s Spanish GP offers his best chance so far of a top result with the bike, because he’s already tested the V4 there. “It’s a nice track and we had some very good tests there during the winter,” says the former 125 and 250 World Champion who lapped at record pace on his very first visit to Jerez with the new Ducati. “I’m keen to get back there to get an idea of exactly how much the bike has improved since winter testing. “We have changed various aspects of engine and chassis set-up. We were having wheel-spin trouble, but we’ve gone a long way to curing this problem. The team is great ­ very effective at understanding any difficulties I’m having and then doing whatever is necessary to solve them. Jerez is the kind of track where you use the tyres really hard, so you have to work towards a good compromise set-up that works consistently well with the tyres at race pace.”
    Capirossi has been racing at Jerez since he started GPs in 1990, but he’s only won a single race there ­ the 1998 Spanish 250 GP ­ and he’s yet to finish in the top three in the premier GP class at the track.

THE TRACK
Constructed in 1986, Jerez hosted its first Grand Prix the following year and has remained on the World Championship calendar ever since. Through the nineties the event grew to become the most popular GP of all.
    Riders love the Andalucian venue because it’s a track that rewards rider talent over machine performance. Many of the circuit’s 13 corners flow into one another, placing the emphasis on smooth, neat riding and stable, all-round machine performance. The circuit character places particular emphasis on front-tyre grip, though the many slow-speed turns also require MotoGP riders to control wheel-spin as they power out of the corners. Last year the track underwent resurfacing and total reconstruction of its infrastructure.

JEREZ: 4.423km/2.748 miles
Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m 42.920s, 153.429kmh/95.336mph
Pole position 2002: Rossi 1m 42.193s

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM DATA LOGS
TROY BAYLISS
Age: 34
Lives: Monaco
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici
First GP: Australia, 1997 (250)
GP starts: 3 (2xMotoGP, 1×250)
World Superbike victories: 22
World Championships: 1 (Superbike: 2001)
Jerez 2002 results: DNS

LORIS CAPIROSSI
Age: 30
Lives: Monaco
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici
GP victories: 22 (2×500, 12×250, 8×125)
First GP victory: Britain, 1990 (125)
First GP: Japan, 1990 (125)
GP starts: 186 (16xMotoGP, 59×500, 84×250, 27×125)
Pole positions: 33 (5×500, 23×250, 5×125)
First pole: Australia, 1991 (125)
World Championships: 3 (125: 1990, 1991, 250: 1998)
Jerez 2002 results. Grid: 3rd. Race: 4th

Before the Race comments   3

    The 4.423km Jerez circuit is regarded by many people as the spiritual home of MotoGP. The track which opened in 1986 usually stages the first European grand prix of the season and attracts huge crowds of over 200,000 for the weekend. The 4.423km Jerez circuit is regarded by many people as the spiritual home of MotoGP. The track which opened in 1986 usually stages the first European grand prix of the season and attracts huge crowds of over 200,000 for the weekend. Despite having two fast corners, the track has one of the slowest average speeds in the grand prix calendar but often provides exciting racing in all classes.
The track is situated just outside the town of Jerez almost on the Atlantic south coast of Spain in an area of Andalusia famous for it’s sherry and horses. It was built in 1986 and staged the Spanish Grand Prix a year later. In 1988 it hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix but a year later The Spanish Grand Prix returned and has been held at the circuit ever since.
The circuit was modified in 1994 and last year a new pit complex and paddock facilities were constructed to bring the track, which has also staged Formula One car racing, right up to date.
The Pons team have a good record at the Jerez circuit with Alberto Puig winning the 500cc Spanish Grand Prix for the team at the circuit in 1995. Both Max Biaggi and Tohru Ukawa have experienced success at the track. Biaggi won the 250cc race in 1996 and finished second in the 500 in 1998 and third the next year. Ukawa was second in the 1999 250cc race and third a year later.
The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Europe and this year record crowds are expected to converge on the circuit and surrounding towns for a fabulous weekend of racing and partying.

————————————————————————
SPANISH GRAND PRIX – JEREZ, 11 MAY – TRACK FACTS
————————————————————————

Length: 4.423km
Width: 11m.
Direction: Clockwise.
Pole Position: Left.
Right corners: Eight.
Left corners: Five.
Longest Straight: 600m.
Constructed: 1986.
Modified:1994.

Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.920s – 154.710 km/h, 5/5/2003
Pole-setting lap 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.193s
MotoGP Race winner 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 46m51.843s – 152.894 km/h
Tohru Ukawa 2002: Third Max Biaggi 2002: DNF

————————————————————————
COBAS INSIGHT – Antonio Cobas, the Technical Director of
Camel Pramac Pons
————————————————————————

“We may be based in Barcelona but we feel very much the race at Jerez is our second home grand prix. We have raced and tested there many times and have usually secured some very good results. However, we go into the race on Sunday with little experience of racing the four-stroke Honda at the track. We have tested with Tohru there but only in the wet but we have not tested at all with Max.
Despite this, we are confident of some more good results because with the experience and data we have about the track it should not be that difficult to set up the bikes. It’s a slow track despite having two fast corners and has one of the slowest average lap speeds in the MotoGP calendar.
The surface gives good grip and tyre choice should not be problem because the surface does not cause great wear. It has been known to rain at Jerez but once again that is not a great problem because of the surface which is one of the smoothest of the season. With those two fast corners linked to medium and slow corners, it’s very important to get the geometry settings on the machine correct to help the rider. The lap times from the other four-stroke teams at the beginning of the year were very fast and I’m expecting a good race on Sunday. Both Max and Tohru rode well in South Africa and we are confident that we can provide them with good machinery.
Jerez is a very special place with such great ambience and we always look forward to racing there.” Despite having two fast corners, the track has one of the slowest average speeds in the grand prix calendar but often provides exciting racing in all classes.
The track is situated just outside the town of Jerez almost on the Atlantic south coast of Spain in an area of Andalusia famous for it’s sherry and horses. It was built in 1986 and
staged the Spanish Grand Prix a year later. In 1988 it hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix but a year later The Spanish Grand Prix returned and has been held at the circuit ever since.
The circuit was modified in 1994 and last year a new pit complex and paddock facilities were constructed to bring the track, which has also staged Formula One car racing, right up to date.
The Pons team have a good record at the Jerez circuit with Alberto Puig winning the 500cc Spanish Grand Prix for the team at the circuit in 1995. Both Max Biaggi and Tohru Ukawa have experienced success at the track. Biaggi won the 250cc race in 1996 and finished second in the 500 in 1998 and third the next year. Ukawa was second in the 1999 250cc race and third a year later.
The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Europe and this year record crowds are expected to converge on the circuit and surrounding towns for a fabulous weekend of racing and partying.

———————————————————————–
SPANISH GRAND PRIX – JEREZ, 11 MAY – TRACK FACTS

————————————————————————

Length: 4.423km
Width: 11m.
Direction: Clockwise.
Pole Position: Left.
Right corners: Eight.
Left corners: Five.
Longest Straight: 600m.
Constructed: 1986.
Modified:1994.

Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.920s – 154.710
km/h, 5/5/2003
Pole-setting lap 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.193s
MotoGP Race winner 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 46m51.843s
– 152.894 km/h
Tohru Ukawa 2002: Third
Max Biaggi 2002: DNF

————————————————————————
COBAS INSIGHT – Antonio Cobas, the Technical Director of
Camel Pramac Pons
————————————————————————

“We may be based in Barcelona but we feel very much the race at Jerez is our second home grand prix. We have raced and tested there many times and have usually secured some very
good results. However, we go into the race on Sunday with little experience of racing the four-stroke Honda at the track. We have tested with Tohru there but only in the wet but we have not tested at all with Max.
Despite this, we are confident of some more good results because with the experience and data we have about the track it should not be that difficult to set up the bikes. It’s a slow track despite having two fast corners and has one of the slowest average lap speeds in the MotoGP calendar.
The surface gives good grip and tyre choice should not be problem because the surface does not cause great wear. It has been known to rain at Jerez but once again that is not a
great problem because of the surface which is one of the smoothest of the season. With those two fast corners linked to medium and slow corners, it’s very important to get the geometry settings on the machine correct to help the rider. The lap times from the other four-stroke teams at the beginning of the year were very fast and I’m expecting a good race on Sunday. Both Max and Tohru rode well in South Africa and we are confident that we can provide them with good machinery.
Jerez is a very special place with such great ambience and we always look forward to racing there.”

3

GIBERNAU HEADS HOME ON A MISSION

Fresh from the most emotionally-charged win in MotoGP history two weeks ago in South Africa, Spanish star Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) returns to Spain just seven points behind title leader Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V). Rossi placed second at Welkom with Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) third.
Last year Gibernau managed a tenth place riding a Suzuki but this year his expectations have stepped up a gear now he’s equipped with a V5 four-stroke Honda RC211V. His early season form has been impressive with a fourth at round one in Japan and a win from pole position in South Africa.
Many riders believe the World Championship begins for real in Spain at Jerez with round three. The first two races sometimes produce atypical results on account of the mass of specialist Owild card¹ riders at Suzuka in Japan and the alien nature of Welkom in South Africa which is ridden only once a year by the MotoGP teams who don¹t test there at all.
But no matter what the results of the early races, the atmosphere at Jerez when the bikes hit the grid on raceday is seldom matched anywhere in the world for sheer volume and raw energy. Up to 200,000 people will throng the Andalucian venue which is a natural amphitheatre for the high drama of this year’s 16-round MotoGP series.
Built in 1986, Jerez hosted its first Grand Prix the following year and has remained on the World Championship calendar ever since. The track is a true measure of rider talent as much as a test of machine performance.  Most of the 4.423km track’s corners flow into each other requiring a neat, flowing style from the riders and a solid all-round performance from the motorcycle.
Jerez is a track with a little bit of everything ­ short, medium and long turns, uphill braking, and downhill braking. The Spanish track is used by many teams for MotoGP testing precisely because of the all-round demands it makes on machine set-up. And it puts a premium on front tyre grip. “The front end is very important at Jerez,” said Sete Gibernau. “You need to have good feel. The two most important sections of the track are the last two fast rights. You can always feel when you get them right because the revs are really high and you may touch the limiter before the final hairpin. If you do that, and the rest of the lap was good, you know it’s going to be a fast lap.”
The thirty-year-old is in a great early season position to get a real grip at the top of the table and he will draw huge support from a crowd that will back him to the hilt. If the season begins here, Jerez could also signal a  title challenge from the experienced Gibernau.
Current World MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi has enjoyed his fair share of success at Jerez. He won the 125cc Grand Prix there in 1997, the 250cc race in 1999 and MotoGP races in 2001 and again last year. He also holds the lap record at 1m 42.920s/153.429kmh. And the World Champion is happier the focus is back on Europe. “It will be good to get back to Europe,” he said. “I like Jerez for obvious reasons because I’ve had so much success there, but it’s a fantastic track for riders and with the amazing atmosphere and the big crowd it can be a very special place. And we can all stop living out of suitcases for a while now too.”
The Camel Pramac Pons boys are eager to get into action. Max Biaggi will be locking horns with his great rival Rossi on equal machinery for the first time in Europe. “I so much wanted to ride for Honda this year,” said the former Yamaha teamster who is now the all-time leading points scorer in Grand Prix racing. “Now I can race instead of having to develop a bike.”
Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V), slightly deflated after a sixth at the last round at Welkom, is ready to take the fight to his rivals. “I’m all set for more racing,” he said. “I tested here in winter, and it rained all the time, so we didn’t learn that much. But we’ve got plenty of set-up options anyway. As always I’ll give it my best and who knows ­ it might even rain.”
Nicky Hayden (Respsol Honda RC211V) is good to go after two steady rides in his rookie year. “I seem to remember going to Jerez way back when Wayne Rainey invited me and my brother Tommy to an invitation race here. I’ve tested here too ­ but it rained all the time. But I expect it to be a whole lot of fun and I’m just going to keep riding that learning curve.”
Makoto Tamada  (Pramac Honda RC 211V) is ready for his first taste of Jerez too.” We gained a lot of really useful information at Welkom and we’re making good progress with the Bridgestone tyres,” he said. “Jerez will be new for me, although the team will have useful data from the track last year. The RC211V will be a new experience round here and you can be sure we’ll do our best to make the most of it.”
In the 250cc class Honda riders will use Jerez as a springboard for their Championship challenge. Their top riders are eagerly awaiting significant new engine parts to improve the RS250RW further, knowing the machine’s precise, benign handling will come into its own at this demanding track.
Sebastian Porto (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS250RW) can’t wait to get going. “This race is really important,” he said. “We’re doing all we can at the moment but we’ll really need some extra speed from those new parts. We’re still right there in the Championship points table but we need to start winning now in Europe. And there’s no better place to start than Jerez, I love the place.”
The same went for Roberto Rolfo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) who lies behind third-placed Porto in the overall standings. “Yes, we’ve got work to do,” he said. “But we know what we need ­ more acceleration out of the turns. But I like Jerez and if the engine parts work and we get the usual gearbox and suspension settings right, then we can really do something here.”
In the 125cc category, which is so close to Spain’s sporting heart, Daniel Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS125R) heads for his home Grand Prix at the top of the points table after his Welkom win. And he knows the crowd is worth at least a few tenths of a second per lap. “It’s good to be going there off the back of a win,” said the 18-year-old. “We’re ready for another win and I’ll do my best to deliver.”
Mika Kallio (Ajo Motorsports Honda RS125R) can’t wait. “I like Jerez and I’ve have raced there three times already,” said the Finn. “The corners flow together nicely for me and I love the fast right hand corner behind the paddock. When you get it right I can go through there on full throttle. I got fifth here last year, my best GP result yet. I hope I can do better than that this year, but it’s vital I get a good start!”
His vastly experienced team-mate Masao Azuma is all-set too. “Jerez is a track I have won at twice, even though I prefer fast tracks,” he said. “If the chassis and suspension settings are good for the race we will be OK. The Jerez track itself? I like the faster corners at Jerez, but everything has to be perfect for a really fast lap at this circuit.”