Alex Barros and his brand new Honda RC211V grabbed the limelight today during the first day of Practice for the Pacific Grand Prix, despite an unexpected attack from Max Biaggi's Marlboro Yamaha.

The West Honda Pons rider had made first contact with his new bike in the morning session and proved to be very competitive right from the off before a problem with the radiator forced him to sit out the last twenty minutes of the Official Practice session - he would end the session in sixth.

"My first experience with the Honda RC211V has been fantastic! It is an incredible gift for me and I am really excited," beamed Barros. "I had a few problems with the front suspension under braking. I still need to find out more about the bike and gain more control."

The Brazilian then explained why he had run wide and - into the gravel - while following Max Biaggi: "With 20 minutes left I had to abandon the session because when I was following Biaggi he rode on the grass and threw up some stones which unluckily smashed into the radiator on my bike. We did not have time to repair it and I could not go back out on the track. This is the problem in having only one bike".

Technical Director Antonio Cobas found the RCV easy to work with in it's competitioon debut for the team. "The RC211V is an easy bike to adjust to the style of the rider and you can go quickly with relatively little effort. The difficult thing is getting the maximum out of it," revealed Cobas.

"Alex's debut on the four stroke has been excellent and it now looks like both riders have tremendous potential and that results will be great from now until the end of the season. I strongly believe that Alex will be very competitive," declared Team Boss Sito Pons.



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