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Nakano main absentee from morning warm-up sessions
The three warm-up sessions for the Gauloises Czech Republic Grand Prix took place without major incidence this morning, although the notable absentee was Japanese rider Shinya Nakano, who broke a bone in his hand on Friday and after a fleeting return to the track yesterday has decided to skip this afternoon´s 500 race. The sun is beating down on the Brno circuit and conditions are hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 31ºC by 10:30 in the morning.
Sete Gibernau lapped at 2´01.615, the quickest time of the 500 riders, closely followed by Valentino Rossi, Norick Abe and Alex Criville. Pole setter Max Biaggi was seventh fastest with a time of 2´02.111, two seconds slower than his qualifying lap but slightly quicker than Loris Capirossi, who lines up in third place on the grid behind Valentino Rossi.
The 250s saw Tetsuya Harada make the best time, following on from a flying circuit record he set yesterday. He is clearly the man to beat here in Brno, having shown great consistency since Friday´s first free practice. Behind him came Northern Ireland´s Jeremy McWilliams, who had languished low down in the times during the session, raising fears that his badly bruised foot was going to give him problems later in the day. However he came back strongly to make this second fastest lap on his penultimate, relegating Daijiro Katoh to third. Marco Melandri completed the top four, incidentally the same four as on the front row of the grid. De Puniet, Locatelli, Guintoli and Alzamora filled the next four positions.
In the 125cc category, pole position holder Toni Elias made the fastest time, snatching the initiative away from Lucio Cecchinello who had made good time throughout the short 15-minute session. Behind these two came Jenkner, Sanna and Hungarian Talmacsi, continuing his good form. Youichi Ui and Manuel Poggiali both used the new engines that they have been testing throughout the weekend. The final decision is that they have performed well enough with the new engine fitted to the old chassis, and they will use it in the race. Ui made the 9th fastest and Poggiali the 18th quickest time. Gino Borsoi however did not appear in the warm up due to the injuries he received on his knee and his sub-dislocated wrist, which were both giving him a great deal of pain in the practices yesterday. The decision is that he will race, but the team are not sure how long he can last.
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