The d'Ant?n Yamaha team heads to Sepang and the Malaysian Grand Prix with high expectations, largely because of the good results achieved at the Kuala Lumpur track by Shinya Nakano.

When the Japanese ace was racing in the 250 class, he finished third in 1999 and won the race in 2000. One year later, on his premier class debut, he finished in a fantastic fourth place - only 0.283secs off the podium - riding a two-stroke YZR500. Last year, on his first ride with the four-stroke YZR-M1, he crossed the line sixth, so this season, with more experience of the bike, he is expecting a better result.

"I like Sepang and I'll go looking for revenge after the unlucky race in Motegi," Nakano said, after finishing ninth in last Sunday's Pacific GP, following the disqualification of Makoto Tamada, "Last year, I was sixth on my four-stroke debut there, and I also have very good memories from my 250 career. I'm looking forward to being at Sepang and getting out there with my bike."

Sepang hosted its first grand prix in 1999 and is one of the longest tracks on the world championship calendar. Only Assen and Suzuka exceed it for length, but the Sepang lap times take several more seconds to complete. It's also one of the widest venues of the world, and its racing line is almost unique in its width. The heat and the humidity are also to crucial aspects of this circuit.

"Sepang is like Suzuka - one of the longest tracks - and I think we should do well there," team manager Kaneko commented, "It's so hot, so the set-up and the tyre selection will be crucial. It also has some heavy braking corners, so we must keep working to solve the problems we had in Motegi."

After Sunday's race, the paddock will head to Australia for the last of the 'flyaway' races at Phillip Island.

 

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