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Arnaud Vincent and the rain the first to show at Motegi

Arnaud Vincent and the rain the first to show at Motegi

As the 125s took to the track for the first session of this weekend´s Pacific Grand Prix of Motegi, the overnight rain continued to fall, and the 45 minutes would take place in sodden conditions. With the riders having to tiptoe around the course, many went out with an extra covering over their leathers to try and help prevent the effects of the cold and wet. Frenchman Arnaud Vincent was the first to complete a lap and stayed at the front throughout most of the rest of the session, only Max Sabbatani having been at the top of the times for a brief period.

The Frenchman got his best result of the season in the wet race at Assen, behind Championship leader Toni Elias that day, and his pedigree in damp conditions showed once again this morning. He made a fastest time of 2´12.058, roughly fourteen seconds behind Roberto Locatelli´s fastest lap of this circuit here last year. Italian rider Sabbatani was second quickest, and Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi showed his qualities in damp conditions, setting the third best time. Behind these three were Masao Azuma, wildcard rider Shuhei Aoyama and current second in the overall standings, Manuel Poggiali.

Elias, who won in the wet at Assen, and also leads the Championship at this moment, was down in fourteenth place, biding his time undoubtedly and waiting for the rain to let up. The same will go for Youichi Ui, who languishes down in 31st place after this session, he will hope to improve if he has any chance of keeping his title challenge alive.

125cc, 2001

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