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Roberts riding high with provisional 500 pole

Roberts riding high with provisional 500 pole

Kenny Roberts today set the provisional pole time for Sunday´s Pacific Grand Prix of Motegi in cool conditions at the Japanese circuit. The Suzuki rider maintained his good from Valencia a fortnight ago, where he picked up his first podium position of the season, to record the quickest lap of the day ahead of Alex Barros, Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi.

Honda Pons team-mates Barros and Capirossi were consistently fast throughout the session, often occupying the top two positions on the time sheets, whilst Roberts and Yamaha man Biaggi gradually picked up the pace to break up a provisional front row which had previously featured the Yamaha of Noriyuki Haga and Valentino Rossi´s Honda.

Rossi was forced out to the second row thanks to Roberts´ effort despite a last lap surge of his own and he lines up in fifth place on the provisional grid ahead of Haga in sixth. Gibernau latched on to Rossi to set a late fast lap and promote himself to seventh position, relegating Nakano to eighth and pushing Jacque out to the third row. The Frenchman is joined by Checa, Abe and McCoy.

Leon Haslam was the only rider to fall despite the slightly damp conditions, but he emerged unscathed and will be fit to try and improve on 20th place tomorrow.


Tags:
500cc, 2001

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