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Daijiro Katoh comfortable in surprising 250 first qualifying session

Daijiro Katoh comfortable in surprising 250 first qualifying session

Daijiro Katoh took a comfortable provisional pole for the German Grand Prix despite a frantic final five minutes which brightened up an otherwise dull first qualifying practice. The Japanese Honda rider topped the time sheets right the way through the session, as Marco Melandri, Jeremy McWilliams and Roberto Rolfo remained untouched in the front row positions for long periods. However, late fast laps from Sebastian Porto and Emilio Alzamora put the pressure on the trio and it made for a dramatic finale as names chopped and changed positions in the top six positions.

When the dust settled Melandri was the closest rider to Katoh, coming within 0.176 seconds of the Japanese rider´s best time, and he was joined on the front row of the provisional grid by Porto in third and Rolfo in fourth. McWilliams held off Alzamora to head the second row in fifth, whilst the Spaniard is followed by compatriot Fonsi Nieto in seventh and Tetsuya Harada in eighth.

Randy de Puniet slipped to ninth despite an encouraging start to the session, whilst Naoki Matsudo completes a top ten separated by just 1.050 seconds. Katja Poensgen, who remained in her box for long periods troubled by a hip injury she picked up in a fall this morning, has not qualified and will have to rely on an improved performance in tomorrow´s final qualifying session.

250cc, 2001, Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, QP1

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