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McCoy breaks Rossi´s rhythm on first practice day in France

McCoy breaks Rossi´s rhythm on first practice day in France

Australian slide specialist Garry McCoy today took provisional pole position for the Grand Prix Polini de France at the Bugatti circuit, Le Mans. The Yamaha rider looked consistently smooth throughout the session, finding a good rhythm early on and maintaining constant speed on a slippery track. McCoy dealt a blow to Championship leader Valentino Rossi, who tried several times to set the fastest lap of the session but ultimately having to concede supremity to his title rival.

Many riders had trouble with the greasy conditions and a track which has yet to dry out fully from a lunchtime shower. Anthony West and Leon Haslam both suffered spectacular crashes, whilst Loris Capirossi, Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi all had a few hairy moments which could have ended up in the gravel.

Norick Abe, who led the race here last year for long periods, was second quickest ahead of Championship leader Valentino Rossi, who has looked a little shaky at times today. Kenny Roberts looked comfortable with the slippery surface and led the way for much of the session before having to settle for the fourth fastest time and the final spot on the front row of the provisional grid. The current World Champion has previously stated that only in adverse weather conditions will he have a chance of taking victory with his current package, and he will be hoping for more rain tomorrow and on Sunday. The outlook is bleak for his Suzuki team though as sunshine and warm temperatures are predicted for the rest of the weekend.

The provisional second row is made up of Max Biaggi, Noriyuki Haga, Carlos Checa and Shinya Nakano in that order.

500cc, 2001

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