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Nakano and Jacque repeat last year´s form in 500cc first practice

Nakano and Jacque repeat last year´s form in 500cc first practice

The Gauloises Tech3 duo of Shinya Nakano and Olivier Jacque went fastest in the first outing of the 500cc bikes at the Malaysian Grand Prix today. Lapping together at the end of the session, Nakano set a time of 2´08.464, just 0.055 seconds ahead of his French team-mate. This order was a repeat of last year´s 250 race, where the Japanese rider won on the opening day of the season. The session was run in wet conditions for the first 45 minutes, with all riders coming out on the track as it reached near dry conditions towards the end of the hour.

The two Tech3 riders rode the most laps in the session, in complete contrast to the Yamaha bikes of the Marlboro team, who waited until well after the half hour mark to register their first laps. Biaggi´s ´first lap´ was timed at over 47 minutes having not left the garage until that point. The Roman eventually put in some good laps in the dry, but was pushed out to sixth by Rossi, Roberts and McCoy, who all set their best laps after the chequered flag had gone out. Biaggi´s team-mate Checa came out of the pits to set a number of fast laps on the drying surface, but he finished in seventh spot ahead of compatriot Jose Luis Cardoso, who himself had led for parts of the session.

Kurtis Roberts´ first outing on a two-stroke 500cc bike saw him in fourth at various stages in the session, however he slipped back to 17th. Third in the championship, Loris Capirossi, who will look to make ground on Biaggi in his quest for second in the championship this weekend, finished in 10th position overall, after having only put in one lap before the three-quarter hour mark.

500cc, 2001

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