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Capirossi and Katoh put their NSR500s at the head of the MotoGP field

Capirossi and Katoh put their NSR500s at the head of the MotoGP field

Capirossi and Katoh put their NSR500s at the head of the MotoGP field

Loris Capirossi and Daijiro Katoh occupied the top two positions in the first MotoGP qualifying session which took place under an intense sun in Welkom. The lead changed hands various times, although the first to hit provisional pole was Capirossi. Carlos Checa took over at the top after 8 minutes, and he was then in turn surpassed by Rossi some seven minutes later. Jeremy McWilliams sprung a surprise by hitting top spot halfway through the session, although his lead was shortlived as Rossi once again bettered the rest. The Proton rider was eventually to finish eighth.

Capirossi regained the leadership 23 minutes from the conclusion, but once again Rossi refused to lie down and went quicker. The World Champion held his advantage for ten minutes, and then just three minutes from the end, Capirossi produced an exceptional lap to pull a full 4 tenths of a second clear of Katoh in second, five ahead of Ukawa in third and six from Rossi who ended fourth fastest.

Sete Gibernau suffered a fall but without any serious damage a few minutes from the session´s finish, his team-mate Kenny Roberts was sixth quickest ahead of Max Biaggi, but over a second down on flying Italian Capirossi.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002, Africa's Grand Prix

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