15 years ago
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Manuel Poggiali dominates the first 125 qualifying session in Welkom
World Champion Manuel Poggiali was quickest in the first qualifying session of the 125cc class, after dominating the session. The San Marino rider claimed top spot with his third lap, and it wasn't bettered until he himself went quicker some ten minutes before the end. Behind him there were lots of changes as riders battled for the top positions, eventually Pablo Nieto claimed second, as he did in Suzuka, and Daniel Pedosa finished third.
Japanese rider Youichi Ui, who won in Welkom last year, was amongst the top riders for the first half of the session but gradually slipped down the time charts. Championship leader, Arnaud Vincent, got better as the 30 minute session went on, and ended up in fifth behind Poggiali, Nieto, Pedrosa and Italian Lucio Cecchinello, who continues to be the most consistent Aprilia rider in qualifying.
Jaroslav Hules suffered a fall a few minutes from the end on a fast corner which left him motionless on the ground, although he was not seriously injured. The subsequent yellow flag meant that many riders who were attempting to post quick laps in the final moments were not able to. Amongst them was Pedrosa who, until the final section of the course was a tenth of a second ahead of Poggiali, but ended some three tenths down on the Gilera rider.
15 years ago
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