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Spotlight on Capirossi as he snatches pole

Spotlight on Capirossi as he snatches pole

In the final qualifying round this afternoon Loris Capirossi was on blistering form wiping out any thought of Biaggi or Rossi hitting the headlines. He smashed his own pole record from yesterday by a second and a half, and leaving compatriates Biaggi and Rossi gobsmacked in the Gauloises Dutch TT at Assen. The Italian trio have taken every pole position this so far season and will go head to head from the front row tomorrow, with Biaggi and Rossi starting from second and third respectively. The latter pair kept their promise of restricting their ongoing battle to the track but were unable to overshadow Capirossi despite setting excellent lap times themselves and pushing all the way to the chequered flag.

The West Honda Pons man was not to be outdone however, and expressed his delight at his second pole of the season: ´It´s fantastic news for myself and the team, although we have been lucky in that the weather has stayed fine for us today. Hopefully for the good of the race it will stay dry and we will be all looking to the sky until the race gets underway tomorrow.´

One man who will be doing just that is Capirossi´s team-mate Alex Barros, who stayed sufficiently ahead of the rest of the field to take the final front row spot. Barros won here in wet conditions last year and will no doubt be hoping for similar weather tomorrow. Nakano qualified in fifth with another consistent ride aboard the Yamaha whilst Roberts was unable to hang on to his provisional front row spot but dropped no lower than sixth. Checa and Abe make up the second row after qualifying in seventh and eighth respectively.

Abe crashed in the qualifying session but escaped unhurt, as did fellow Japanese rider Haga, who was victim to another spectacular highside. McCoy did not lap today after making a decision before the free practice to pull out of the Grand Prix altogether, whilst Walker is also set to miss out after a nasty fall this morning which saw him taken to hospital in an ambulance. The Briton avoided serious injury but is being closely monitored after receiving a hard blow to the head.

The 250 riders will also be keeping a close eye on the clouds after Harada snatched pole position from Katoh at the very end of the final qualifying session. Katoh recently admitted his main rival other than Harada is the wet, and with just 10 points separating the riders it looks certain he will have to battle with at least one of the two tomorrow. Harada´s Aprilia colleagues Melandri and McWilliams take up the other front row positions in third and fourth place respectively, whilst Rolfo and de Puniet ensured it was another satisfactory day at work for the Italian factory with fifth and sixth place on the grid.

Gino Borsoi took the first pole position of his career in the final qualifying session for the 125 category. The Italian has looked on good form here all weekend and set consistently fast times throughout the afternoon session alongside LAE-UGT 3000 team-mate Jenkner, who made the front row by qualifying with the fourth quickest time overall. The duo is joined by Cecchinello, who followed up his pole position in Catalunya with the second fastest time here, and Ui, whilst Championship leader Manuel Poggiali qualified in sixth.

500cc, 2001, Loris Capirossi

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