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Elias beats off home challenge for provisional pole in 125

Elias beats off home challenge for provisional pole in 125

Toni Elias held off the challenge of home riders Youichi Ui and Masao Azuma to take 125 provisional pole position for the Pacific Grand Prix of Motegi. The asphalt had dried out sufficiently from the morning rain for all riders to take to the track on slick tyres and, after a careful opening to the session, the pace was soon increased to set up an exciting finale.

Elias and Ui were quick throughout, and were joined at the top of the time sheets in the early stages by the likes of Sanna, Talmacsi and Scalvini. However, as the pace gathered, Pedrosa, Azuma and Giansanti made steady progress up the time sheets to take up the top positions, although they never really threatened either Elias´ position in top spot or, indeed, Ui in second.

In the end it was Elias who took a comfortable provisional pole, with Ui and Azuma unable to maintain late surges in heavy traffic and forced to settle for second and third place on the grid respectively. Giansanti did find a clear run after the chequered flag, however, and he made the most of the opportunity to complete the provisional front row with the fourth fastest time of the session.

Scalvini and Pedrosa were sent spiralling down the time sheets as Branetti, Cecchinello, Poggiali and Nieto Jr. all used their last lap of the session to take up positions on the provisional second row, Poggiali having recovered from a slow start which saw him at the foot of the classification for much of the early stages.

125cc, 2001

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