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Barros third despite crash

Barros third despite crash

Alex Barros was third fastest before crashing out of the final qualifyingsession for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island this afternoon,(Saturday). The West Honda Pons rider will start from the front row of thegrid in the 27 lap tomorrow despite spraining his neck in the accident inthe final few minutes of yet another superb one hour session round 4.448 kmscircuit, south of Melbourne.

His team-mate Loris Capirossi improved on his Friday lap times by an incredible 2.702 seconds and starts from the second row of the grid afterqualifying an impressive sixth.

Italian Yamaha rider Max Biaggi starts from pole ,nearly half a secondquicker than his great rival, championship leader Valentino Rossi who showedno ill effects from his crash yesterday by finishing second fastest in thedry but cold conditions.

´I feel on top today after taking pole,´ said Biaggi, after setting thefastest ever motorcycle lap round Phillip Island.´ It´s one thing startingfrom pole and another winning the race but I´m confident.´

The front row of the grid was completed by the inform Suzuki rider SeteGibernau and the first 12 riders were separated by less than one second.

Joining Capirossi on the second row is World 250 Champion Olivier Jacque,Spanish Yamaha rider Carlos Checa and Japanese Honda rider Tohru Ukawa.

After leading the way yesterday, Australian Yamaha rider Garry McCoy slipped to 14th place behind World Champions Kenny Roberts and Alex Criville. Jacque was the early leader of the session only to be overtakenby Barros after a few minutes. The Brazilian led the way until five minutesfrom the finish and then he crashed trying to regain the advantage just aminute later.

Capirossi, Nakano and Checa all took their turn in second place untilRossi moved in with just two minutes remaining.

Phillip Island has a reputation for close racing and if the weatherremains dry tomorrow, the 14th round of the MotoGP World Championshipshould be no exception.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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