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Ui proves yet again he has the capability

Ui proves yet again he has the capability

Youichi Ui has clearly come back to get revenge on the Estoril circuit, where in MotoGP´s first ever stop here last year, he took pole position, but then crashed during the race. This morning he showed that he means to get back in front of the rest once again, as he set the fastest time in the 125cc first free practice session at the Portuguese track. The L+M Derbi rider came ever closer to his record pole time of last year with a typically late burst.

The Japanese racer has been dogged by a combination of bad luck and crashes at the wrong place at the wrong time this season, clearly proving in practice that he is up with the best of them. He will look to add to his five pole positions, and nine out of ten front row starts this season, when the first qualifying session gets under way this afternoon. His time of 1´47.288 is just over 0.2 outside his pole record from last year, and saw off the early session dominance of Championship leader Toni Elias, who came in second fastest behind him.

Elias had been quickest from the second lap and remained there or thereabouts until Ui came storming through the field. His main rival for the championship Manuel Poggiali, came in third, although it remains so tight at the top that many riders are still in with a shout. Fourth fastest this morning, Simone Sanna, who has been in a rich vein of form recently, may still have a thing or two to say about who takes the title home with them come November. As with Ui, however, he´s going to have to start working now if he wants to have any chance at the final race in Brazil.

125cc, 2001, Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal, FP1

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