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Valentino Rossi turns on the style to be quickest in first 500 practice

Valentino Rossi turns on the style to be quickest in first 500 practice

South African race fans were treated to their first sight of the 500cc class in action on Friday morning as the world´s elite motorcycle racers took to the Phakisa Freeway circuit for the first free practice session. The sun was shining down on Welkom and the bright yellow colours of Valentino Rossi, winner of the first race of the season in Japan, streaked around the track to set the fastest lap and top speed. The Honda rider posted a best time of 1´36.754, lapping 0.531 secs quicker than closest rival Loris Capirossi and clocking an impressive 258.5 km/h.

Tohru Ukawa was the quickest 500 rookie and Noriyuki Haga also looked at ease on his first visit to the track as a MotoGP rider. Despite just being a practice session there was some spectacular riding on show and both Rossi and Garry McCoy entertained the paddock with some characteristic rear tyre slides and wheelies.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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