Carlos Checa completed yesterday's Pacific Grand Prix in fifth place, small recompense for his impressive efforts during qualifying, which he finished just 0.172 seconds behind pole-sitter Daijiro Kato.

The Marlboro Yamaha Team man had a tough race, completing the first lap in ninth place and taking until half distance to leave behind Kenny Roberts Jr.

"I didn't have the same feeling as I'd had during practice and qualifying," said the Spaniard. "Now we must analyse the data and work out what went wrong. The feeling was already different in warm-up, so we changed the set-up for the race but the front-tyre feeling still wasn't right.

"I tried to adapt my riding to get around the problem but the lap times never came. It was impossible for me to brake and flick into the turns as I'd done before, and I couldn't keep the bike leant over at speed or with the brake on."

A disappointed Marlboro Yamaha Team director Davide Brivio stated: "Carlos did well to score some good points. We leave Motegi tonight, heading for Sepang, where we expect to perform much more strongly on race day."



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