Following the knock to Olivier Jacque's head received during the first day of practice, all of Gauloises Yamaha's hopes were pinned on team-mate Alex Barros yesterday at Sepang, but unfortunately for the 'Blues', their run of bad luck continued with the Brazilian falling on the first lap.

Barros rushed back to his bike, remounted last, then rode a strong race as he battled back into the points with a 15th place finish at the flag.

"My second corner crash was my fault. I was trying to get past Marco (Melandri), braked a little too hard and touched the back wheel of a Suzuki - it must have been Roberts," admitted Alex. "The handlebars were a little bit twisted, but luckily, apart from that, the bike wasn't too damaged and so I set off to try and get some points. Right at the end I really pushed to try and get past Kenny but just didn't have enough grip left."

"With only one bike on the starting grid we thought we'd already had our share of bad luck for the day; unfortunately that wasn't to be the case," sighed team manager Herve Poncharal. "With Alex's second corner crash all hope of a good result evaporated, though he should be congratulated for picking the bike up off the ground and fighting back into the points. Now we will do everything we can to swing the pendulum the other way and have a positive result in Australia next week."

"I was hoping to ride in the warm-up to see how I felt, but in the end I couldn't even do that. I went to the Mobile Clinic and they gave me some anti-inflammatory medication but advised me that the only real solution was rest. Hopefully I'll have recovered in time for the Australian GP," said OJ.



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