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Marco Melandri delights Aprilia with 250 provisional pole

Marco Melandri delights Aprilia with 250 provisional pole

Marco Melandri followed up his impressive showing in this morning´s 250 free practice session by taking provisional pole for Sunday´s Grand Prix. The latest young Italian star to roll off the Aprilia ´production line´ set a time of 1´37.936 in this afternoon´s first qualifying practice to steal top spot from Daijiro Katoh, while Tetsuya Harada further relegated the winner of the opening GP to third on the provisional front row with a fast lap in the final minutes.

Harada´s late show sparked joyous scenes in the Aprilia camp and represents a dent to the confidence of Katoh´s Honda crew who had seen their rider dominate for the majority of the session. Fonsi Nieto continued his early form to seal the final spot on the provisional front row and cap off an excellent day for Aprilia.

Yamaha are represented on the provisional second row by Sebastian Porto, who had a fine ride to finish fifth fastest, but Aprilia´s dominance of the session was both impressive and complete as Roberto Locatelli, Roberto Rolfo and Alex Debon rode the Italian factory machines to sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

Ivan Silva and Cesar Barros both fell but neither rider suffered serious injury.

250cc, 2001, Gauloises Africa's Grand Prix, QP1

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