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Harada makes the running as Aprilia send out warning to Katoh

Harada makes the running as Aprilia send out warning to Katoh

As the 250cc bikes made their preliminary circuits of the Brno track, it was the Aprilia bikes who made the best impressions as they completed a one-two-three in the first free practice session. Team-mates Tetsuya Harada and Marco Melandri snatched the first two positions respectively and it was Briton McWilliams finishing the trio of Italian bikes. Runaway Championship leader Daijiro Katoh had to settle for fourth fastest of the morning on his Telefonica Movistar Honda, although no doubt this will not deter him from making a pole assault this afternoon.

It was really a question of these four riders, who undoubtedly have proved the most consistently quick this season and are the only four to have won a race, battling for early supremacy; all of them holding a fastest lap at one stage. Despite this, Katoh remains over a second behind the leading Aprilia bike of his countryman, Harada making a time of 2´04.130 on his 23rd lap out of a total of 24.

Behind these four riders came Roberto Rolfo, Randy De Puniet and Roberto Locatelli, with Briton Jason Vincent, rejoining the 250 class this weekend after the unfortunate demise of the Pulse 500 team, languishing back in 21st spot. There were falls for Frenchmen Guintoli and De Puniet as well as Spaniard Luis Costa, although all will be fine to continue this afternoon.


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