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Team Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts sliced more than half-a-second off his best lap time of yesterday to secure a second-row starting position for tomorrow´s Valencia GP, slotting at seventh overall in a batch of very close times. The World Champion was only eight tenths off pole position, with the first ten riders within one second of pole.

But the day went bad for team-mate Sete Gibernau, who had secured a provisional front-row start yesterday, but crashed early in today´s final timed session. Although unhurt, the loss of time and of one of his two motorcycles meant that the Spanish rider was one of only two not to set a faster lap time today, in a session that was cut short by five minutes by a shower of rain.

Rain had been forecast, but only a light shower came, right at the end of the session, with barely three minutes remaining. At that time, Max Biaggi was fastest, and with the usual end-of-session scramble spoiled by the wet track, he remained on pole position.

More rain is possible tomorrow, with the likelihood of seasonal showers reinforced by bad weather across much of Europe.

Tomorrow´s race is the third in Spain, and the 12th of 16 scheduled races of the 2001 season.

KENNY ROBERTS - Seventh Position, 1:35.326

Times are very close, with everyone trying for that flying lap at the end of the session. I know the race will be different. For me, like I said yesterday, we´ve put some setting mistake into the chassis over the last couple of races. The bike is inconsistent, and I don´t have a good feel. It´s the same problem I had at the start of the year, and we´ve had to set the chassis so it uses the tyres harder, to give me more feel. Maybe we need to take a step backwards - last year I set pole at 1:35.1, without having to make the same effort. For the race, I´ve been pretty consistent. I´ll try to run up the front, and let the other guys make some mistakes. Maybe it will rain and throw in some mixed conditions, which generally seems to help us

SETE GIBERNAU - 12th Position, 1:35.634

This morning, I was pushing the front, and this afternoon also. I knew if I tried to over-ride the bike I would crash. And I did. That makes me pretty stupid. So that was a real bad session. Now we need to find the solution to the problem and test it in morning warm-up. I hope we can get it fixed. My starting position is really bad. I´ll have to try and get off the line really well, then see what I can do in the race.

GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager

It´s good to see Kenny fighting back, and improving his time. If he can get away well, then he has the chance of a good race. It´s a great pity that Sete made a small mistake that had big consequences. As we´ve seen, he´s been working really hard and going better race by race. Now he has given himself a hard job, starting from the third row, but he always tries hard.

500cc, 2001

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