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Arnaud Vincent sets off best in the wet at Sepang

Arnaud Vincent sets off best in the wet at Sepang

Frenchman Arnaud Vincent, riding for Team Fomma, was fastest in this morning´s first free practice session for the 125cc bikes in Sepang. The Malaysian track was wet all through the 45 minutes because despite the 26°C temperature, the effect of the overnight downpours on the track would not be dried out due to 93% humidity. Vincent showed his quality both in wet conditions and at this Sepang circuit where he has been in pole and second position in the grid in the last two years.

Vincent fell during the race last year, but he will be keen not to do the same again as he rode confidently throughout the session. Behind him was the familiar figure of Youichi Ui who is looking to keep his title chances alive, having won in the last two races and closed the gap to Championship leader Manuel Poggiali to 28 points. Poggiali himself was down in ninth spot after the session, but three seconds off Vincent and Ui. He was behind Giansanti in third, Cecchinello in fourth and his main rival for the title Toni Elias, who came in fifth fastest, but then crashed as he rounded the circuit after the chequered flag had gone out.

No lasting damage was done to Elias´ bike so he should be there battling it out this afternoon for early grid position. He finished this morning ahead of Scalvini, Jenkner and Brannetti before Poggiali and another young Spaniard Jara. Jara had led the session briefly, before falling himself with just five minutes remaining.

125cc, 2001, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, FP1

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