17 years ago
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Harada and Melandri lead Aprilia attack in 250
Tetsuya Harada took pole position and Marco Melandri second in a late charge by the Aprilia pair which dropped Honda rider Daijiro Katoh two places to third just minutes ahead of the chequered flag in this afternoon´s final qualifying session for the 250 class. It´s Harada´s 4th pole of the season and represents a huge improvement on his performance yesterday which had only been enough for eight place on the provisional grid.
The Japanese rider´s showing was perhaps only equalled by that of another Aprilia colleague in the shape of Jeremy McWilliams, who sealed the final front row position despite breaking his collarbone just a fortnight ago at Donington and undergoing an operation shortly after.
The British rider was riding with a metal plate inserted in his shoulder, and only just held on to fourth position after a late effort from Fonsi Nieto, who ensured four of the top five machines on the grid are Aprilia and will start from the head of the second row. Yamaha rider Sebastian Porto lines up next to Nieto in sixth on the Yamaha, whilst Roberto Rolfo and Randy de Puniet complete the second row.
Emilio Alzamora was forced to settle for ninth position after a nasty highside, whilst other riders to crash include Alzamora´s Spanish compatriot David de Gea, Naoki Matsudo, Vincent Philippe and Diego Guigovaz.
17 years ago