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Katoh still leading from the front as he dominates practice once again

Katoh still leading from the front as he dominates practice once again

Daijiro Katoh showed once again why he is in the position to take the World 250cc Championship this weekend, with a devastating performance in the second free practice for the quarter litre class. The Japanese rider is riding out of his skin again this weekend, but looks as composed and as consistent as ever setting quick lap after quick lap. He hasn´t had any of the rain problems that the 125s and 500s have had to complain about, the weather being such that by the time the 250s have come on to the track, the sun is shining and the dampness which has affected the other two classes has gone.

He set a time of 2´09.044 this morning, a minuscule four-thousandths outside the time he set in yesterday´s qualifying practice, which took him to provisional pole. He finished this morning ahead of Jeremy McWilliams, team-mate Emilio Alzamora and in fourth place his championship rival, Tetsuya Harada. Harada has not had the best of weekends so far, but will hope to improve on his current seventh place on the grid to at least put some pressure on his compatriot in the chase for the title.

Fonsi Nieto responded to the fine he was give for ´riding in an irresponsible manner´ during the qualifiers yesterday, he finished fifth quickest this morning, ahead of Italian Robertos - Rolfo and Locatelli, and the Aprilia of Randy De Puniet, who lies in provisional second place on the grid. Marco Melandri is still suffering from his hand injury and was in 18th position after the hour-long practice. However, only McWilliams and Alzamora managed to get within a second of Katoh, giving the rest a great deal to think about before their qualifying practice comes around this afternoon.

250cc, 2001, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, FP1

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