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Melandri off to a flying start in 250

Melandri off to a flying start in 250

Italian rider Marco Melandri set the fastest time of this morning´s 250cc first free practice, and put a big gap between himself and the majority of riders. Only two racers, Harada and Rolfo managed to get within a second of the Aprilia rider, as Melandri aimed to make good time in preparation for this afternoon´s qualifying session.

Melandri made his fastest lap after the chequered flag went out, having begun it after the end of the hour. His time of 1´28.295 was just under five seconds slower than last year´s pole position, again like in the two previous classes, demonstrating that the changes in the track have meant a big change in times. Last year the race fastest lap in 250 was quicker than in 500, but it seems that while times are slower, the greater horsepower of the half litres will prove much more useful than in the past. ´Macio´ was 0.281 seconds ahead of Harada this morning, Rolfo and Alzamora behind him

Good recovery from their injuries was seen in the times of Jeremy McWilliams, who came in 5th fastest, and Roberto Locatelli, 9th fastest. Championship leader Daijiro Katoh was sixth fastest in the session, and over 1.2 seconds behind Melandri. There were falls for home riders again in the 250 session, when Katja Poensgen went out on only her second lap. She was taken to the medical centre, but was passed as fit immediately, and then her compatriot and wildcard rider Neukirchner also crashed out, neither of them playing any further part in the proceedings as they each only have onw bike to work with.

250cc, 2001, Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, FP1

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