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Katoh domination gets back on track

Katoh domination gets back on track

He may have not finished a race for the first time in his GP career in his home race at Motegi last week, but Daijiro Katoh is letting the rest know that he means to regain his domination which took a blow in Japan. Following on from yesterday´s provisional pole position, the Telefonica Movistar Honda rider set the fastest time of this morning´s second free practice session in the 250 class, and only two riders were able to get within one second of him.

The first of them was his only rival for the championship, Tetsuya Harada, who still set a time 0.740 seconds outside Katoh´s time of 1´34.355. Harada is the only one of the offical MS Aprilia team out on the track today, with Marco Melandri consigned to the medical centre with his broken metacarpal bone in his hand. The third placed rider, just within a second of Katoh was reigning 125cc World Champion Roberto Locatelli, on his Eros Ramazotti Aprilia. Behind these two came another six Aprilia riders, before the Honda of Emilio Alzamora in tenth position.

The fourth placed rider was a surprise package, with Sylvain Guintoli showing the form which had got Hervé Poncharal to consider him for a ride for him in 250 next year. His team-mate Randy de Puniet, who was in fine form yesterday came in eighth, giving the French some hope that they may be able to get a podium out of this weekend. Fonsi Nieto and Jeremy McWilliams were fifth and sixth, with Boscoscuro seventh and Rolfo ninth.

250cc, 2001, Qantas Australian Grand Prix, FP1

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