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Katoh beats off Aprilia invasion for 250 pole

Katoh beats off Aprilia invasion for 250 pole

Daijiro Katoh made it three out of three by taking his third successive pole in the final 250 qualifying session this afternoon. The Honda rider was pushed all the way by the Aprilia machines of Marcelino Lucchi, Roberto Locatelli and Fonsi Nieto. The Italian factory threesome put on an impressive display of determined riding, with 42 year old Lucchi making a wildcard return to MotoGP after embarking on a new career as a test rider.

Locatelli recovered from a crash to take third place on the grid behind his Italian compatriot, whilst Nieto finally gave the Spanish fans something to cheer about after a poor showing from the home riders in the 500 class.

Katoh was dogged and resolute however and his dominance of the 250 class is unquestionable as he maintained his 100% record of pole appearances so far this year. The Japanese flyer heads the Championship by 14 points and is favourite for the race on Sunday. However, it is clear that he won´t be taking anything for granted, nor will the other riders be going down without a fight.

There was more good news for Aprilia on the second row, as Tetsuya Harada, Marco Melandri and Jeremy McWilliams qualified in 5th, 6th and 8th positions respectively. In between the trio was Naoki Matsudo who continues to perform miracles on his Petronas Yamaha by consistently being near the leaders.

Franco Battaini and Alex Debon rounded off the top ten. Klaus Nohles and Sylvain Guintoli both crashed without injury and Luca Boscoscuro retired from the session.

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

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