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Valentino Rossi sets the pace in first free practice

Valentino Rossi sets the pace in first free practice

Valentino Rossi warmed up for the qualifying sessions by setting the fastest time in the first 500cc free practice this morning. The Nastro Azzurro Honda rider posted a best lap of 2´06.602, almost 0.4 seconds ahead of nearest rival Tohru Ukawa on the Repsol YPF Honda.

Red Bull Yamaha rider Noriyuki Haga made an impressive start to his MotoGP career by setting the third fastest time and was followed in fourth by a resurgent Alex Criville - Ukawa´s team-mate in the Repsol team. Another 500cc rookie Shinya Nakano, took his Gauloises Yamaha to seventh, beating his team-mate and 250cc World Champion Olivier Jacque who was down in 17th.

Current Champion in the class Kenny Roberts, languished back in 8th. Jason Vincent and Jose Luis Cardoso both fell but without injury.

Tags:
125cc, 2001, Grand Prix of Japan, FP1

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