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Business as usual in 250 as Katoh takes provisional pole

Business as usual in 250 as Katoh takes provisional pole

Daijiro Katoh set out today to prove that his poor performance in Mugello was simply down to the adverse weather conditions and to re-establish himself as the king of the quarter-litre class at the Circuit of Catalunya. The Japanese Honda flyer took provisional pole, although he didn´t have it all his own way as the Aprilia contingent once again piled on the pressure, with Fonsi Nieto, Marco Melandri, Tetsuya Harada and Jeremy McWilliams all very much on the pace.

Katoh started well and was joined at the top of the times sheets by Telefonica Movistar Honda team-mate Emilio Alzamora. However, British veteran McWilliams soon took control and it wasn´t until late in the session that the other riders began to claw back his 0.5 second advantage. With five minutes left, Katoh moved into provisional pole and just managed to hold off a late surge from Nieto and the ever present challenge of Melandri. Home rider Nieto was second fastest ahead of the Italian whilst a burst from Tetsuya Harada relegated McWilliams to the second row.

Of the first eight qualifiers, six are on Aprilia machinery and two are on Honda, with Roberto Rolfo and Roberto Locatelli maintaining their consistent form to record sixth and seventh positions respectively on the provisional grid and Alzamora hanging on to eighth.

250cc, 2001, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya, QP1

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