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Melandri controls the first day of play at Valencia

Melandri controls the first day of play at Valencia

Melandri controls the first day of play at Valencia

Marco Melandri took provisional pole position for the 250 race at Valencia on Sunday after an intense battle for top spot with Randy De Puniet. The Italian and the Frenchman both lapped inside the pole record at the Spanish circuit to hold off the constant threat of Sebastian Porto and a late charge by a trio of home riders.

The newly crowned World Champion set a best lap of 1´35.885 to pip De Puniet to top spot by 0.358 seconds, whilst Emilio Alzamora and Alex Debón stormed through to take front row positions to the delight of the home crowd. Fonsi Nieto edged in front of Porto to relegate the Aregentinean to sixth spot ahead of Toni Elias, with Franco Battaini hanging on to the final place on the provisional second row.

Casey Stoner had set the fastest time in this morning´s warm-up and was in line for another top showing before he crashed out of fifth with just over five minutes remaining. The Australian youngster slid down to an eventual ninth as the Spaniards struck in a typically intense finale.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana

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