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Melandri storms to provisional pole with last-gasp effort

Melandri storms to provisional pole with last-gasp effort

Melandri storms to provisional pole with last-gasp effort

Marco Melandri ended the first quarter-litre qualifying session with provisional pole under his belt, reclaiming top spot right at the last after having lost it with 18 minutes remaining. The Italian rider moved into first position in the opening minutes, and remained unchallenged until Frenchman Randy de Puniet surpassed him. However, the Italian roared back to snatch provisional pole in the dying seconds.

Casey Stoner was once again in outstanding form, and featured amongst the top four until the final minutes when he was knocked down to seventh. The young Australian finished just ahead of German veteran Ralf Waldmann who, after a year and a half away from the World Championship, came home eighth in his comeback showing.

Fonsi Nieto and Toni Elias both came on strong in the second half of the session, and made a charge for the top positions. Indeed Fonsi looked like bettering Melandri´s mark, but was denied by the chequered flag. In the end, the championship leader finished third, ahead of Elias, Porto and Battaini.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Gauloises Dutch TT

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