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Katoh keen for success at home track with impressive second free practice

Katoh keen for success at home track with impressive second free practice

In front of his home fans, nothing would suit Daijiro Katoh more than another win to add to his other eight of the season, and it looks as though he will be there or thereabouts come Sunday afternoon. The Telefonica Movistar Honda rider showed once again why he leads the 250cc Championship by such a margin, as he pulled quick lap after quick lap out of the bag in the second free practice session here in Motegi. Katoh will hope he can continue the form this afternoon when he will try to knock his only remaining rival in the title chase, Aprilia rider Tetsuya Harada, off pole position for tomorrow´s race.

Katoh battled with Melandri and McWilliams for superiority throughout the majority of the session, the first two engaged in a tit for tat battle as they swapped quickest laps in the last five minutes. Katoh eventually made his fastest time on his last lap, a 1´53.722 which was 0.262 faster than the Italian Aprilia rider. McWilliams was unable to keep up with the place as he was displaced into fifth by a resurgent Emilio Alzamora and Tetsuya Harada. Alzamora is still struggling with eye problems after the nerves on his face were affected by wisdom tooth trouble, and his right eye is practically closed, it is a show of his quality that he is able to perform like this.

Behind these front five, came Rolfo, Debon, Locatelli and Nieto, making a rather a familiar scene at the head of the time sheets. These four Aprilia riders will hope they can score one over the Hondas on their home ground, with the Italian manufacturer still six points behind in the constructor´s title chase.

250cc, 2001

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