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Untouchable Rossi takes 500 pole with ease

Untouchable Rossi takes 500 pole with ease

Championship leader Valentino Rossi took his second consecutive pole position in the final 500 qualifying practice session for the Gran Premio Marlboro de España this afternoon. ´The Doctor´ was simply too fast for his title rivals, breaking the previous pole record set by Max Biaggi last year.

Only fellow Italian Loris Capirossi ever really threatened Rossi´s dominance, eventually taking second spot, 0.393 seconds off the dazzling yellow Honda.Capirossi maintains his 100% record at the front of the grid in 2001, as does Japanese rookie Shinya Nakano, who along with Rossi has been the revelation of the season so far. Nakano starts from 4th place behind compatriot Norick Abe, who makes his first front row appearance of the year on the Yamaha.

The Spanish contingent were unable to make an impression even on the second row as Max Biaggi, Tohru Ukawa, Alex Barros and Kenny Roberts making up the top eight qualifiers.

Carlos Checa crashed out of the session on the Michelin corner where Mick Doohan´s career came to an end in 1999. The Spaniard highsided his Yamaha on the medium left hander and was thrown around 5 metres into the air before hitting down on the tarmac and tumbling into the gravel. Checa qualified in 13th place although initial reports show minor injuries to the shoulder and back and it is not yet known for certain whether the local idol will be fit for the race.

With former World Champion Alex Criville back in 12th position and Sete Gibernau next to him in 13th it was a disappointing day´s action for the thousands of Spaniards who have made the journey to the Andalucian circuit, although they will be giving their heroes 100% support when the race gets underway tomorrow.

Jurgen vd Goorbergh put in a solid performance on the Modenas and lines up in a respectable 9th position.

500cc, 2001

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