March 14, 2006 at 10:58 pm #11705GixParticipant
Like the factory team, the Yamaha Tech 3 squad also had tough times in Jerez compared to the previous tests in Barcelona and Qatar. Looking to challenge for a top five time, Carlos Checa crashed on a hot lap. He was taken to hospital for x-rays just to confirm that he hadn’t suffered any serious injuries.
Team-mate James Ellison experimented with his riding style and tyres at the test, and although he managed to eliminate chatter problems, he still needs to find the best way to use his qualifying tyres come the race in less than two weeks time.
Reflecting on the final session of testing, Checa remained positive about the adjustments made to his M1, despite the setbacks.
“We’re still improving a lot but we have a long way to go with the endurance of the tyre. It’s hard to know at the moment what will happen over race distance. We’ve had a lot more problems here than in Qatar or Barcelona and of course this is disappointing, but we need to stay calm about this and remember that it’s very early days. The bike is working well but there is a lot of work to do on the package. For now we can all relax for a short while and then finally start racing!”
With his experienced team-mate having impressed in preseason, Ellison has found what is effectively his first ride on a MotoGP bike a little more difficult. The Cumbrian rider has a focused gameplan for his progression, and has analysed his weak points as he heads into the season.
“It’s been slow, steady progress. Every time I get to a new circuit it’s taking me longer than everyone else to get comfortable on the bike and so I’m not making progress as quickly as I should, but I am getting there. The first couple of days I tried to follow Carlos and see how and learn something from him. I’ve been trying to copy his riding style but to be honest it wasn’t really working for me. This morning I went back to riding how I’ve always ridden and I went second quicker straight away. Now the bike isn’t moving around so much and I’m feeling more comfortable,” commented Ellison.
“On race tyres my pace isn’t so bad, I’m feeling okay. On the qualifiers I’m three seconds down, and they’re not really making much difference to my times. I don’t have much experience with them and so it’s taking me time to learn. I’m not that worried. It seems that I got rid of the chatter today, going back to my old riding style, so it’s just the durability of the tyres that we have to worry about now,” he commented, speaking on the day of the final test session in Jerez.
“I’m looking forward to the race, I love the track, although it’s been difficult to get used to with this bike because everything happens faster! It’s my first race with the Yamaha and I’ve got to take things slowly, but I would like top ten or at least top fifteen. I know I am nowhere near the peak of my capabilities yet and I know I can keep improving as the season goes on.”
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