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All Aprilia front row as Locatelli takes provisional 250 pole

All Aprilia front row as Locatelli takes provisional 250 pole

Roberto Locatelli put on a stunning late show to take provisional pole for the 250 race of the Gran Premio Marlboro de España. The 125 World Champion set his best time after the checkered flag had been waved, although he had already sealed top spot on his previous lap – his 20th of 21.

It´s an all Aprilia front row, with Marco Melandri lining up between Locatelli and another Italian in the shape of veteran wildcard rider Marcelino Lucchi, who takes third spot. The hypothetical front four also sees Jeremy McWilliams make a welcome return to the cream of the class after some consistent riding and a fastest lap late in the session.

Emilio Alzamora also posted a quick late lap to edge out his Honda team-mate Daijiro Katoh to sixth. Japanese rider Katoh, who leads the 250 Championship after scoring maximum points in the first two races, had a disappointing session but is certain to be a force as the weekend progresses after clocking outstanding laps at this circuit in pre-season tests.

Franco Battaini and Tetsuya Harada make up the second row, meaning Aprilia hold 6 out of the first 8 provisional grid positions, whilst solid performances from Fonsi Nieto (despite having to retire from the session), Alex Debon and Roberto Rolfo take the Italian factory´s tally to 9 out of the top 11.

250cc, 2001, Gran Premio Marlboro de España, QP1

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