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Cecchinello strikes first at Catalunya

Cecchinello strikes first at Catalunya

Cecchinello strikes first at Catalunya

Lucio Cecchinello drew first blood in his battle with Dani Pedrosa to leave the Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya as the leader of the 125cc World Championship. The pair are tied at the top of the current rider standings on 91 points and Cecchinello made his intentions clear on a hot first day, posting his fastest lap with around five minutes remaining of the session and then hanging on for provisional pole as a host of challengers failed to match his time of 1´51.403.

Pedrosa, riding in front of his home fans, came close to edging out the Italian with a last lap attempt which faltered on the final section and left him just 0.050 seconds adrift. Alex De Angelis also put together a series of quick laps and came even closer to snatching top spot, lapping just 0.014 seconds slower than his former team-mate and manager Cecchinello. Meanwhile, a last gasp pole attempt from Pablo Nieto also diminished in the latter stages but his effort was enough for the final spot on the provisional front row.

Andrea Dovizioso made progress in the second half of the session to move to the head of the provisional second row in fifth, ahead of Hector Barbera, Stefano Perugini and Casey Stoner.

125cc, 2003, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya

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