Rossi quickest in 500cc morning practice
Valentino Rossi is displaying all his qualities this week in Rio as he set the fastest practice time once again in the 500cc class, with Checa, Roberts and Gibernau just behind. The recently crowned World Champion has nothing to prove in Brazil, having reached his target of 300 points, and taken 10 wins out of 15 races, nevertheless, he is certainly proving that he has an unquenchable thirst to be ahead of the other riders as he set a time quicker than yesterday´s pole time.Rossi´s time of 1´52.159 was over three tenths of a second quicker than yesterday´s qualifying time, perhaps due to the cloud cover reducing track temperature slightly. He had to struggle for a clear track as Roberts and Jacque both tried to get a tow off him at times. With one eye behind he eventually let the riders past after a few laps of being unable to improve his times. Roberts eventually made the third best time in what is proving to be a good weekend for him so far, whether this can be continued in the race remains to be seen, he finished just ahead of Telefonica Movistar Suzuki colleague Sete Gibernau.Carlos Checa made second eventually after having equalled Roberts´ time to the thousandth of a second, and then repeating it on the subsequent lap. Finally he improved again and slotted in behind Rossi, 0.083 seconds behind the Italian. He has also enjoyed better fortunes this weekend after some mediocre performances recently. His teammate Max Biaggi who is battling to hold on to second place in the Championship eventually took fifth.
- 500cc, 2001