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500s get off to exciting start in the Czech Republic

500s get off to exciting start in the Czech Republic

Loris Capirossi set the fastest time of the morning in what was an interesting first free practice session for the half-litre bikes, with many different riders heading the time sheets at various stages. Italian Capirossi, who is currently lying in third place overall in the championship, set his best lap on his 22nd of 22 although he had been quickest for the last half hour of the session. The West Honda Pons rider, keen to make an impression on his compatriots who lead him in the championship, made a time of 2´02.074, within Criville´s race record lap of 1998.

Despite Capirossi´s actions was also an warning once again for the other Honda bikes, which have been so prominent in the top spots this season except for the last race in Sachsenring, as in the top eight, both Suzukis and four Yamahas made the biggest impression. Only Alex Criville himself could make it into fifth, with Rossi down in ninth and Barros just behind him. Trailing Capirossi was Australian Garry McCoy, who demonstrated to all that he is over the injury which has seen him miss a large chunk of the season so far, and he finished strongly, setting his best time on his last lap. Spaniard Carlos Checa was behind him, as reigning World Champion Kenny Roberts, who was prominent during the entire session came in fourth quickest. Max Biaggi, who seems to be in his best form for a long while, was sixth in the session and will be hoping to improve in the afternoon.

Shinya Nakano was admitted to the Mobile Clinic after a heavy fall which saw him break one of the metacarpi in his right hand. After resting it immediately on ice, it is hoped that a bit of magic in the clinic will see him able to ride this afternoon´s qualifying session. The other faller of the session was Australian youngster Brendan Clarke, who was unhurt as he went into a gravel trap.

500cc, 2001

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