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Rossi dominates once more and takes provisional pole with ease

Rossi dominates once more and takes provisional pole with ease

The 500 riders took to the track for the first qualifying session of the Gran Premio Marlboro de España knowing that a good time was imperative in case of bad weather conditions tomorrow. Championship leader Valentino Rossi continued his early season habit of dominating almost every track session by following up his good showing in this morning´s practice with provisional pole this afternoon. Rossi, who took pole at the last race in South Africa, was unchallenged at the top of the time charts and finished with a 0.718 second advantage over nearest rival Norick Abe.

Shinya Nakano continued with his promising early form to make the provisional front row after qualifying in the top three positions at the two previous rounds of the Championship. Nakano is joined by Loris Capirossi, one of the few riders to feature at the top of the time charts before Rossi took control, who qualified an eventual fourth.

On the second row Max Biaggi lines up alongside Alex Barros, Kenny Roberts and Garry McCoy. Roberts, who set the early pace in the session, won here in the rain last year but will have his work cut out if he is to challenge Valentino Rossi under this weekend´s Spanish sunshine.

The temperatures have soared this afternoon allowing the riders to post some good lap times and concentrate on the set-up of their machines. Two riders who didn´t take such benefits from the session were Vladimir Castka and Chris Walker, who both fell. It is the third time Walker has dumped his NSR Honda in three meetings, and he is clearly struggling to master the powerful two stroke machine.

500cc, 2001

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