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Gibernau fastest in bizarre 500cc session which saw more inaction than action

Gibernau fastest in bizarre 500cc session which saw more inaction than action

Sete Gibernau was fastest in a strange second free practice session for the half-litre bikes here in Malaysia, with a time of 2´07.346. The Spaniard, who rides for the Telefonica Movistar Suzuki Team, clocked merely 10 laps to set the best time of the hour, but the practice will be noted more for the lack of action than the on-track performances. After 30 minutes of the session, only 15 of the 23 riders had completed a lap, and with ten minutes to go, still five riders had not left their garages, all this because of the damp asphalt.

Nothing should be taken from Gibernau, who was nearly a second quicker than his practice time of yesterday which had seen him in provisional 13th on the grid. However the absence of the leading riders meant that it was more likely a false position because of the number of riders waiting in the pits for the track to dry out. With ten minutes to go, Biaggi, Rossi and Roberts finally decided to leave their garages to give their bikes a warming up, and that meant only Criville had not been on the track during the session. The ´99 World Champion succumbed with just over seven minutes remaining, meaning that eventually everyone completed at least one lap.

Rossi stormed out of the pits when he finally made it onto the circuit, setting the second best time in the session, however he still remains over a second slower than yesterday, in contrast to Gibernau. Barros was third after having made 13 laps of the track, with Ukawa just behind. Checa, who had bravely ridden on the edge while the track still was drying out saw himself drop down to 13th as the session closed, but it was probably his constantly quick lapping which prompted the others the track was dry enough to be ridden on.

500cc, 2001

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