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Biaggi steals pole from Rossi as rain strikes in Valencia

Biaggi steals pole from Rossi as rain strikes in Valencia

Max Biaggi stole pole position from Valentino Rossi in incredible circumstances at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today. Rossi had clocked a new pole record which set him apart at the top of the time sheets for the majority of the session, with Biaggi languishing back in tenth place as he worked on a race set-up for tomorrow. The Yamaha rider gradually picked up his pace, moving up to second position, and was on a fast lap when the clouds that have hung over the Valencia track all day finally burst.

Biaggi bravely continued riding at the limit and got his reward when his time 1´34.496 took him to pole position with Rossi unable to react as water bounced down on to the asphalt. Honda rider Rossi´s frustration was complete when the rain stopped almost immediately after the chequered flag was waved.

Shinya Nakano qualified just behind the Italian duo in third place, just ahead of Loris Capirossi. Garry McCoy has to settle for a second row start despite contesting top spot with Rossi at the beginning of the session, whilst Alex Criville and Carlos Checa provided a ray of hope for the home supporters with consistent laps and a place on the second row in sixth and eight respectively. Kenny Roberts is sandwiched between the two Spaniards in seventh.

500cc, 2001

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