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Normal service resumed as Katoh quickest in 250

Normal service resumed as Katoh quickest in 250

For the umpteenth time this season, Daijiro Katoh emerged from the 250cc first free practice session as the quickest rider in the field. He took a while warming up this morning, but eventually came through to set a fastest time of 1´56.110, holding off an impressive session performance from a number of Aprilia machines. Honda´s newly-crowned World Champion showed his class once again, with only three riders getting within a second of his time.

Katoh had languished way down the order for the first half of the session, but after moving up into fifth position, he stormed to the top of the times with a lap which was way quicker than the man ahead at the time, Franco Battaini. Battaini was particularly impressive in the session, eventually coming in second but spending a long time ahead of the rest alongside his Eros Ramazotti team-mate, Roberto Locatelli.

Locatelli was eventually pushed out to sixth position by Aprilia colleagues Harada, Melandri and McWilliams, who finished in third to fifth respectively. Matsudo made Yamaha´s presence felt in this final race, by slotting into seventh, ahead of Rolfo, who himself led momentarily, Nieto and Alzamora who rounded off the top ten. This should certainly be an interesting race, with the final jockeying for positions in the standings to play for, despite the top two positions already being confirmed as Katoh and Harada.

250cc, 2001

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