Yamaha rider Max Biaggi talks about the 2002 season, testing, the change to four-stroke machines and a lot more:
This first year of four-stroke GPs is going to be very unpredictable, that should make the season-opening Japanese GP in particular more exciting than ever…
For sure there's a whole new set of rules to deal with, we're going off in a different direction with a new kind of bike, it's a new goal and it's interesting. It's a big challenge both for me and the engineers. Now we're working at adapting my riding style and adapting the character of the four-stroke YZR-M1. With this new machine, every track will be like a new racetrack for us.
From my side, I will try to learn to ride the four-stroke as quickly as possible and I hope Yamaha can help me by developing a bike that is easy and comfortable to ride.
The series of upcoming European IRTA tests will be the first chance for the four-strokes to run against each other, do you think we'll see their true potential then, or will the factories still be hiding some secrets?
I think we've already got some idea of how the bikes are performing. We already know that the Honda is fast but we don't know much about the Suzuki and Aprilia. Anyway, I'm relying on Yamaha to keep working, to come up with something good. We already have a good base set-up but it's too early to say how the championship will go.
You must be doing more testing this winter than ever before – is there a chance you'll be drained by the start of the year, or do you enjoy testing?
This new four-stroke MotoGP series is a completely new adventure for us, so of course it's better that I ride and get used to the bike. The biggest difference is the engine braking, plus the extra weight, due to higher minimum weight regulations, and the character of the power delivery.
Unlike your team-mate Carlos, you don't have any four-stroke experience, does that mean that you have more to learn than him?
For sure, but I feel I'm learning quite quick and I think I'll be ready for the first GP in April. The more I ride the M1, the more comfortable I get.
How are you adjusting your riding style to suit the four-stroke?
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