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Rossi out to dispel any thoughts of cautiousness as he heads the rest

Rossi out to dispel any thoughts of cautiousness as he heads the rest

Having crashed out and run into the gravel on separate occasions yesterday, Valentino Rossi this morning attempted to dispel any inklings that he might not be crowned World Champion this weekend, as he set the fastest time in the 500cc second free practice session. He got closer to the 1´32 mark set by Roberts during last year´s races as he powered late out of the pits and to the top of the time charts. Behind him came the Gauloises Tech3 Yamaha partnership of Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano who were involved in a thrilling photo finish to the 250 season at the end of last year here in Phillip Island.

Rossi´s time was over one second quicker than Garry McCoy´s provisional pole time from yesterday, a 1´33.092 which will put him in good stead before the afternoon sessions. The Gauloises pair will also be happy that they finally seem to be finding a rhythm they have strived for all season, and furthermore at the place where they were involved in such a titanic battle in 2000. Max Biaggi, provisionally seventh on the grid, and ninth in the practice this morning, will want to take a leaf out of his Marlboro Yamaha team-mate Carlos Checa´s book, who has finished in fourth place both times.

Second on the grid provisionally, Alex Barros took the fifth fastest time after having battled for top spot with Rossi for much of the session, he finished ahead of West Honda teammate Loris Capirossi, with Norick Abe and provisional pole rider Garry McCoy just behind in eighth.

500cc, 2001

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