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De Puniet snatches last-gasp provisional pole

De Puniet snatches last-gasp provisional pole

De Puniet snatches last-gasp provisional pole

Frenchman Randy de Puniet took provisional pole in the first qualifying session right at the very last. De Puniet had been amongst the best performers throughout, but it was Toni Elias who had held the lead for the first half an hour. The first rider to challenge him in the final fifteen minutes was Rolfo who moved into top spot with just under a quarter of an hour remaining.

Whilst the Italian and Spaniard battled fot first position, Australian Casey Stoner and Argentine Sebastian Porto fought for third. Porto then moved to the top of the time sheets with five minutes left, but then the final push really began. Fonsi Nieto launched a late charge, while Rolfo reclaimed top spot just before the chequered flag was waved. It was de Puniet though who came through at the last, just ahead of Melandri who was also flying late on.

Two of the other leaders from the session, Rolfo and Porto, finished third and fourth ahead of Spaniards Nieto and Elias, who led home Stoner in seventh. The young Australian showing he hwas clearly recovered from the injury which prevented him from riding in Mugello.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya

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