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Fonsi Nieto emerges in provisional pole after an action packed session
In the quarter litre class, Fonsi Nieto has been the fastest of the first qualifying session. The pole position main contenders were the Spaniard and his team mate Toni Elias, but also World Championship leader Marco Melandri, and the three of them have been swapping positions to the very end of the session.
The French rider Randy de Puniet was the only rider able to get briefly ahead this leading trio : he took the first position on the 8th minute of the session, but eventually went on crashing. At the end of the session, he lies in 8th position behind Haruchika Aoki. Elias has been an early leader, before being relegated to second by Marco Melandri. Fonsi managed to take the first spot after Stoner went out, but his team mate outperformed him seven minutes later. In the last stages of the session, Melandri was back in the lead - two minutes before taking the chequered flag. 40 seconds later, Fonsi posted a new fastest lap to get a firm grasp on the first position. Indeed, the Spaniard managed to take a 6 tenths lead over Melandri and Elias.
Roberto Rolfo, as a big fan of the Tourist Trophy, is wearing a replica of Joey Dunlop helmet this weekend, and qualified in 4th, ahead of Porto and Battaini.
16 years ago