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Ukawa breaks Italian supremacy at last Grand Prix of the season

Ukawa breaks Italian supremacy at last Grand Prix of the season

Tohru Ukawa became the first non-Italian rider to take pole position in the 2001 season with the fastest lap of a well contested final qualifying session at the Nelson Piquet circuit this afternoon. The Japanese rider´s best effort of 1´51.431 was the pinnacle of a series of fast laps set during the final stages of the session and it proved enough to hold off the challenge of Loris Capirossi and Kenny Roberts, who qualified in second and third place respectively. Ukawa´s compatriot Nakano completes the front row in fourth.

Rossi put up a weak defence of his provisional pole position and struggled to find any sort of rhythm before setting the fifth fastest time late on. The World Champion heads a second row which also features Gibernau in sixth ahead of Checa and Jacque in seventh and eighth respectively. Biaggi, who would lose out on second place in the championship if he scores five points less than Capirossi tomorrow, qualified in tenth. Haga did not take part this afternoon and has withdrawn from the race with a tooth infection.

500cc, 2001

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