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Cecchinello thrashes field as young Spaniards continue progress in 125

Cecchinello thrashes field as young Spaniards continue progress in 125

Lucio Cecchinello was once again outstanding in the first qualifying session of a Grand Prix under cloudy conditions at the Circuit of Catalunya, taking provisional pole position in convincing style. The Italian Aprilia rider was a class above the rest of the 125 field, with young Spaniard Toni Elias closest to him but still 0.965 seconds off the pace. Perhaps the most surprising performance of the session came from Elias´ 16 year old compatriot Angel Rodriguez, who was just 0.002 seconds behind the Honda rider. The Aprilia youngster has shown maturity beyond his years in his first season in MotoGP, and he continues to make progress with each passing race.

Rodriguez and Elias are two of a glut of young Spanish riders coming through the ranks in the 125cc class, and they again shone in this afternoon´s session. 15 year old Dani Pedrosa, team-mate to Elias in the Telefonica Movistar Honda Junior Team, made the second row of the provisional grid, as the third member of the team, 16 year old Joan Olive, registered a season-best position of 13th.

Meanwhile, Championship leader Gino Borsoi qualified in a lowly 20th position, whilst fellow title contender Manuel Poggiali completed the front row alongside Cecchinello, Elias and Rodriguez. Youichi Ui put on a typically late show to move ahead of Max Sabbatani and Simone Sanna into fifth on the time sheets despite a forgettable session which saw him spend most of the time in 22nd spot. The trio make up the provisional second row alongside Pedrosa.

125cc, 2001, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya, QP1

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