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Fonsi takes pole from Melandri

Fonsi takes pole from Melandri

Fonsi takes pole from Melandri

So far this weekend Fonsi Nieto has done everything within his power to make sure Marco Melandri does not become World Champion tomorrow, and today he once again showed his resolve as he took his ninth pole position of the season ahead of the Italian. Nieto is just now one pole away from equalling the record set by legendary German rider Anton Mang.

The session started off slowly, with many of the top riders failing to improve their times until eight minutes from the end. Melandri was the first man to close in on the provisional pole time set by Toni Elías yesterday but it was Nieto who finally dislodged his team-mate with just three minutes remaining. Melandri made two pole attacks but could only get to within just under two tenths of the Spaniard as Sebastian Porto came through to drop Elías to fourth.

Jarda Hules was the surprise of the session, qualifying in seventh place and joining Randy De Puniet, Franco Battaini and Alex Debón on the second row, whilst his team-mate Naoki Matsudo did not take part in final qualifying after a fall in the free practice this morning.

250cc, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix

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