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Suzuki bikes make it a refreshing start to the day

Suzuki bikes make it a refreshing start to the day

Only Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau know what they had for breakfast this morning, but whatever it was, it seems to have worked, because in murky conditions at Donington Park they managed to set the two fastest times in the 500cc second free practice session, and set up an exciting showdown for grid positions this afternoon. There were rumours that Roberts was becoming increasingly frustrated with the performance of his Suzuki, but he didn´t show any of this frustration this morning, and left the rest with the thought that he might be finding last season´s form, finally with his time of 1´32.499.

Provisional pole setter Max Biaggi, while setting the fourth fastest time of the hour, also managed to run off the track once, and prior to that he lowsided his bike into the sand. He remained behind Roberts´ teammate Sete Gibernau, who had provisional 6th place on the grid next to teammate Roberts yesterday, and third placed Alex Barros whose late succession of quick laps saw him leapfrog the Italian.

Championship leader Rossi is looking increasingly on edge here at Donington, pushing the bike and himself to the limit, and there were another selection of hairy moments for the London resident, fishtailing the back of his Honda on a couple of occasions and almost entering into highsides on others. Carlos Checa who suffered a horrific crash here in practice in 98 was sixth fastest of the morning. The other faller of the morning session was Frenchman Olivier Jacque, who threw his bike on its side down the Craner Curves, where Rossi and Checa have both succumbed to the falling, twisting Donington Park circuit.

500cc, 2001

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