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Rossi takes provisional pole in steady 500 session

Rossi takes provisional pole in steady 500 session

Valentino Rossi will be careful not to take too much comfort from today´s first qualifying practice for the 500 class despite controlling the session from start to finish. His best time of 1´35.434 is some way off Kenny Roberts´ pole record from last year and is sure to be bettered tomorrow. Max Biaggi had a less than satisfactory session and failed to make an impression on the top spots has he struggled to manoeuvre his Marlboro Yamaha around the tight, twisty Valencia circuit, and an off track excursion at the midway points summed up a day of frustration for the Italian.

Nastro Azzurro Honda rider Rossi was untroubled by the efforts of West Honda Pons pair Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi, as they sealed second and third positions respectively, whilst Sete Gibernau made the most of changes to his Telefonica Movistar Suzuki to join the the Honda machines on the front row of the provisional grid.

Tohru Ukawa had a consistent session and eventually set the fifth fastest time to head the second row just in front of Biaggi. Kenny Roberts also set constant times and lines up in seventh place ahead of Garry McCoy, who thrilled onlookers and frightened the life out of his garage with some typically wild rear tyre sliding antics.

500cc, 2001

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