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Rain falls in early part of 500 session, but Checa shines through

Rain falls in early part of 500 session, but Checa shines through

Following on from the light rain seen during the 125cc second free practice seen earlier, the 500s were delayed as it fell towards the early stages of their session also. The track however was not soaked too much, and as a result the riders were eventually able to take to slick tyres and challenge yesterday´s times and improve the set up of their bikes for this afternoon´s qualifiers. It was Carlos Checa who finished with the best time, as many of the riders struggled to get into the groove.

Checa, who set the fastest lap of yesterday´s free practice session, posted his fastest lap on his last, just as the chequered flag signalled the end of the hour. He had been at the top of the times earlier in the session, but some fast riding from American Kenny Roberts and the Brazilian, Alex Barros meant he had to go better to set the benchmark. There was some great riding from Garry McCoy, again vindicating his decision to miss out on Donington, and having led for a great chunk it looks as if he will be challenging for places tomorrow.

Pole position holder Max Biaggi set only the 14th fastest time of the morning, with championship rival Valentino Rossi making the 7th quickest. There was one faller, the Dee Cee Jeans bike of Dutchman Barry Veneman who went out on the long left hand in the bottom section of the track.

The question is now whether the rain will hold and allow a dry and clear qualifying practice, or whether the dark clouds above will let their load fall and hand pole position to the provisional holder, Max Biaggi

500cc, 2001

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