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Rossi maintains pole at wet and windy Suzuka

Rossi maintains pole at wet and windy Suzuka

Rossi maintains pole at wet and windy Suzuka

Cold, blustery conditions and persistent light showers made for mixed conditions at the Suzuka Circuit this afternoon, where Valentino Rossi maintained pole position for the SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan. The only rider to improve his time from yesterday was Jeremy McWilliams, who bravely attacked the patchy track at the start of the session to ensure qualification, after failing to lap within 107% of Rossi's provisional pole time yesterday due to mechanical problems. With ambient temperatures as low as 6ºC and the track registered at just 11ºC, the rain which had fallen throughout the morning was never going to dry in time to allow the other riders to make any progress and several teams decided not to lap at all. Their decision was confirmed when further spots of rain began to appear halfway through the session.

McWilliams was by far the quickest rider today ahead of what could finally be the two-strokes' last stand, with Proton Team KR optimistic that their all-new V5 four-stroke will be ready for the Arnette Africa's Grand Prix in three weeks' time. The British rider had also been third fastest in the wet conditions this morning, with Troy Bayliss second quickest behind Rossi. Sete Gibernau was fourth fastest in the morning and second fastest in the afternoon, when his team-mate Daijiro Kato clocked up three times as many laps as any other rider.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003, SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan

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