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Elias delights home crowd with new 125 pole record

Elias delights home crowd with new 125 pole record

Toni Elias eventually came out on top in a fierce battle for provisional pole in the 125 class, setting a new pole record on his final lap of this afternoon´s first qualifying practice to see off the challenge of Simone Sanna, Gino Borsoi and Manuel Poggiali. Elias became the first ever rider to lap the Ricardo Tormo circuit under 1´41 on a 125 machine, his time of 1´40.9 proving too hot for the Italian pairing of Sanna and Borsoi, who also launched late pole assaults in a thrilling final few minutes of the session.

Spanish youngster Elias had set the pace for the early part of the session but conceded ground to Arnaud Vincent, who topped the time sheets for long periods, until the late commotion. The Frenchman was eventually relegated to the second row, as Sanna, second, Borsoi and Poggiali, third and fourth respectively forced their way through.

Lucio Cecchinello had looked a certainty for a provisional front row spot but was eventually pushed out to ninth spot and a place on the third row as Dani Pedrosa, Max Sabbatani and Masao Azuma improved their times. Meanwhile Youichi Ui, one of the favourites for this race, qualified in a provisional tenth place.

125cc, 2001, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, QP1

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