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Rossi and Kato set the pace in the MotoGP class

Rossi and Kato set the pace in the MotoGP class

Rossi and Kato set the pace in the MotoGP class

Valentino Rossi took provisional pole for Sunday´s MotoGP race in Jerez after a first qualifying session which he dominated from the moment he posted the fastest lap after just eight minutes. Despite his supremacy though, the Italian couldn´t shake off Daijiro Kato who went on to challenge for top spot in the final third of the hour-long session. Before that, it had been Ukawa, Barros and Capirossi who were providing the most serious threat to the World Champion.

During the final 12 minutes, Rossi upped his pace seemingly at will and Kato was the only one capable of getting anyway near him. In the end, the Japanese rider finished up three tenths of a second down on Rossi, relegating the winner of the Africa´s Grand Prix, Tohru Ukawa, to third. Barros qualified fourth, a little over a second back from Rossi´s mark.

Sete Gibernau was the best of the Spanish riders in this session, taking eighth place, and the Yamahas of Biaggi and Checa came in eleventh and twelveth respectively. At one point during the session Rossi and Roberts both pulled out of the pits at the same time but fortunately managed to avoid colliding.

MotoGP, 2002, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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