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Melandri takes provisional pole in exciting first qualifying session

Melandri takes provisional pole in exciting first qualifying session

Melandri takes provisional pole in exciting first qualifying session

Marco Melandri took provisional pole position in Estoril today after an exciting session which saw a group of riders shuffle places on the front two rows of the grid in the final minutes. The session had been largely dominated by Fonsi Nieto, who topped the time sheets after twelve minutes and held on until the grandstand finale.

Toni Elías made a pole attack with five minutes remaining and moved into top spot with just one minute to spare, before being immediately replaced by Marco Melandri. Roberto Rolfo dislodged his compatriot as the chequered flag was raised but Melandri, Elías and Franco Battaini were all on fast laps. Only Melandri actually managed to better Rolfo´s effort, though, with Battaini moving up to third place and Elías dropping to fourth.

Emilio Alzamora showed no adverse side effects from his recent operation as he qualified in fifth place in front of Nieto, who slid all the way down to sixth. The Spanish pair are joined on the provisional second row by Sebastian Porto and Alex Debón.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal

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