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De Puniet vaults into provisional pole

De Puniet vaults into provisional pole

De Puniet vaults into provisional pole

Randy De Puniet survived a spectacular last minute highside to take provisional pole position in the 250cc class, leading an all-Aprilia front row which also includes Franco Battaini, Manuel Poggiali and Toni Elias. The Frenchman rose gingerly to his feet after somersaulting into the gravel at the end of a crash strewn session which could also have finished badly for two of the other main protagonists of the session.

Poggiali somehow recovered from a major rear end slide to wrestle his machine back into a straight line with his legs trailing on the ground, whilst Elias – already nursing an injured hand from a practice crash in South Africa two weeks ago – had the Spanish fans gasping when he disappeared into the gravel trap in the final stages.

Elias´ team-mate Fonsi Nieto, who won here last year, could only make the second row in sixth place behind Roberto Rolfo. The Italian finished second to Nieto one year ago on the Honda NSR and showed signs of progress on his new RSW as he took the front slot on the second row. Naoki Matsudo on the Yamaha and Honda rider Sebastian Porto, who also suffered a spectacular crash, complete the top eight.

250cc, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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