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Elías remains on song as Melandri makes positive start

Elías remains on song as Melandri makes positive start

Elías remains on song as Melandri makes positive start

Toni Elías proved today beyond doubt that his adaptation to the quarter-litre category is complete as he took provisional pole position for the SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix. The Spanish rider, who took victory in Motegi and second place behind Fonsi Nieto under team orders in Sepang, got off to a flying start at Phillip Island and finished with a flurry.

Marco Melandri was the only man to really challenge the 19 year old as he moved to within 0.092 seconds in the final few minutes of the session. Nieto, the Italian´s only rival for the 250 title, could only just make the outside of the front row in fourth place as he was leapfrogged by a resurgent Franco Battaini.

Randy de Puniet came within 0.007 seconds of dislodging Nieto and heads up the provisional second row in fifth place. Sebastián Porto had held a front row spot for much of the session but eventually dropped to sixth ahead of Roberto Rolfo and Jarda Hules, who was the surprise package of the session in just his sixth appearance on the 250 Yamaha. Casey Stoner qualified on the third row in tenth.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix

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