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Harada on pole in 250 showdown

Harada on pole in 250 showdown

Tetsuya Harada complicated Daijiro Katoh´s weekend no end today by snatching pole position for the 250 race at the very end of the final qualifying session. With rain expected tomorrow and Katoh known to suffer more than most riders in the wet, Harada will sleep more easily than his Japanese compatriot tonight. In fact, at the last rain affected race in Mugello, Harada took the maximum 25 points as Katoh came in 10th, and the Honda rider´s advantage over his Aprilia adversary in the Championship classifications stands at just 10 points. That could change tomorrow if the heavens open and there will no doubt be prayers for rain in the Harada camp.

Aprilia colleagues Marco Melandri and Jeremy McWilliams take up the other two front row places in third and fourth respectively, with many eyes on the latter rider after his podium finish in his last 250 appearance here two years ago. The Italian factory continue to dominate the upper echelons of the quarter litre class, with Roberto Rolfo and Randy de Puniet continuing their consistent qualifying form to take fifth and sixth place on the grid. Naoki Matsudo and Sebastian Porto, who both ride on Yamaha machinery, make up the second row.

Emilio Alzamora had a nightmare session and dropped from eighth on the provisional grid to 17th, whilst fellow Spaniard Fonsi Nieto improved his time slightly despite suffering from a broken bone in his ankle and lines up in 20th.

250cc, 2001, Gauloises Dutch TT, QP1

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