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Elias outfoxes Poggiali to take 125 provisional pole

Elias outfoxes Poggiali to take 125 provisional pole

Toni Elias outfoxed 125 rival Manuel Poggiali in today´s first qualifying session for the Gran Premio Cinzano d´Italia to take provisional pole position. The pair, both 18, enjoyed an entertaining head to head at the end of an interesting session which saw Youichi Ui and Lucio Cecchinello also qualify for the front row.

Poggiali had held provisional pole for much of the session and continued to improve his best time as the clock ran down. However, Elias, who had been consistently quick both in this morning´s free practice and this afternoon´s session, slipstreamed the San Marino rider on his penultimate lap to pinch pole position off his nose. Poggiali was furious, and as the chequered flag waved, he set out to recover top spot on his final lap. However, he was unable to improve his previous best and the canny Spaniard goes into tomorrow´s final qualifying session with a clear psychological advantage.

Gianluigi Scalvini put in a brave ride despite being in pain from a recent operation to qualify fifth on the provisional grid and is joined on the second row by Mirko Giansanti, Stefano Perugini and Steve Jenkner. Championship leader Masao Azuma´s run of poor form continues as he qualified in a lowly 18th spot.

Simone Sanna was also out of luck. The Italian, looking to make an impression at his home circuit, fell twice during the session and broke his finger. Sanna will undergo a medical tomorrow morning but is expected to be fit.

125cc, 2001, Gran Premio Cinzano d'Italia, QP1

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