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Provisional pole specialist Capirossi shines in Assen

Provisional pole specialist Capirossi shines in Assen

Loris Capirossi maintained his habit of taking provisional pole today in the first qualifying session for the 500 category at the sun-blessed Dutch circuit of Assen. Capirossi held off the ever-present challenge of Italian compatriot Valentino Rossi, whilst his Brazilian team-mate Alex Barros was unable to make it a West Honda Pons one-two when he was held up on a fast lap by Tohru Ukawa right at the end of the session. Barros made no attempt to hide his frustration, although he will be satisfied with a place on the front row of the provisional grid. World Champion Kenny Roberts makes up the top four after setting consistently quick lap times and contesting top spot with the two Italians throughout the session.

With track temperature at 36ºC and a gentle but warm breeze blowing across the circuit, hopes of a good weekend´s racing are high. Shinya Nakano was the only rider to crash out of the session, emerging unhurt from the incident, with Garry McCoy and Leon Haslam both continuing their recovery process with some competitive laps.

The Yamaha machines of Norick Abe and Max Biaggi line up on the second row of the grid ahead of Repsol-YPF Honda team-mates Alex Criville and Tohru Ukawa. Jurgen vd Goorbergh had an encouraging session on the Proton KR machine although he eventually had to settle for a provisional 11th position, and he will be hoping for an improvement tomorrow at his home Grand Prix.

500cc, 2001

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