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McWilliams settling in to the groove

McWilliams settling in to the groove

The morning´s free practice sessions finished as per usual with the quarter litre class, and it was Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams who led the way with his relatively new MS Aprilia team. Having ridden his first race for the German set up run by Dieter Stappert in Catalunya, by setting the fastest lap in the session he has proved his capabilities and clearly seems to be going in the right direction with his new team.

The session was pretty slow in getting warmed up, and it was Frenchman Randy de Puniet, who has been impressive in recent races, who was left to take took an early fastest lap. It was then left to the old hands, as Tetsuya Harada and McWilliams traded quickest times for the rest of the session. Leaving championship leader Daijiro Katoh in their wake, the two experienced riders pulled each other through this most testing of tracks. McWilliams finished up with a best time of 2´05´´.632, with Harada 0.264 behind and Katoh a further 0.888 seconds from second fastest.

There was also an impressive performance by Argentine Sebastian Porto, riding for the Yamaha Kurz team. He finished 1.4 seconds behind McWilliams, but fourth fastest rider overall. He will hope that he can keep the pace up for this afternoon´s qualifying sessions. The only faller of the session was Fonsi Nieto, who was taken to the medical centre and was receiving attention.

250cc, 2001, Gauloises Dutch TT, FP1

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