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Biaggi hangs on to pole despite Italian charge

Biaggi hangs on to pole despite Italian charge

Max Biaggi´s sensational qualifying lap from yesterday was enough to seal pole position for tomorrow´s Gauloises Czech Republic Grand Prix despite the best efforts of fellow Italians Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi. Rossi signalled his intentions in this morning´s free practice, becoming only the second man after Biaggi to lap below 2´01 at the Brno circuit. Jurgen vd Goorbergh surprisingly became the third as this afternoon´s final qualifying practice reached an exciting climax, but he was edged out to fourth place in the dying stages by Rossi and Capirossi, who sealed slots on the front row in second and third place respectively.

Garry McCoy clung on to his provisional fifth place on the grid although he did flirt with the front row positions before the efforts of Rossi, Capirossi and vd Goorbergh. Kenny Roberts is relegated to the second row having failed to improve on his provisional best from yesterday, as is Alex Criville, who was edged out to eighth place by Spanish compatriot Carlos Checa, who set his best time after falling on the second lap. Leon Haslam was the only other rider to crash and although he did return to the track he was suffering pain in his arm and was relegated to 17th spot by Shinya Nakano.

The Japanese rider took a brief part in the session but a broken bone in his hand suffered during yesterday´s practice proved to be too painful and he will wait until tomorrow´s warm-up before deciding whether or not to race.

500cc, 2001

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