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Poensgen and Melandri join casualty list in 250 practice

Poensgen and Melandri join casualty list in 250 practice

The second day of the Grand Prix Polini de France has been marred by crashes in the 125 and 500 classes and the 250 practice session was no different. Katja Poensgen and Marco Melandri both flipped spectacularly off their bikes, as did Diego Guigovaz. It was a bad day for Aprilia, who will be praying Melandri can recover in time for the race and maintain his title challenge. The youngster is well known for his battling qualities and after taking to the track for the race in Japan just 24 hours after dislocating his shoulder he will be doing all he can to get back on his bike as soon as possible.

There was some good news for the Italian factory however as Jeremy McWilliams and Roberto Locatelli took over from Melandri at the top of the time sheets to keep Championship leader Katoh at bay. Briton McWilliams set the best lap of the session overall and continues his return to race speed after taking a few rounds to re-adapt to the 250 machine after dropping down from the 500 class at the end of last season.

Naoki Matsudo improved his lap times after a disappointing day yesterday, setting the 6th quickest lap behind Tetsuya Harada. Matsudo´s team-mate Sebastian Porto also made progress in the session, on a track notoriously difficult for Yamaha riders.

Click on the Flash icons to see the full motion images of the unfortunate crashes suffered by Marco Melandri (from two seperate angles) and Katja Poensgen.

250cc, 2001, Grand Prix Polini de France, FP1

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