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Biaggi shatters lap record for pole at Donington

Biaggi shatters lap record for pole at Donington

Biaggi shatters lap record for pole at Donington

Max Biaggi set the fastest lap time ever by a motorcycle at Donington Park in warm conditions this afternoon to take pole position for round eight of the MotoGP World Championship and the Cinzano British Grand Prix.

The Italian headed the timing screens at the end of the one hour qualifying session after provisional holder Valentino Rossi had been the main man for most of the period.

Sete Gibernau, victor of the last race at a wet Assen, also proved his mettle for success tomorrow by being the first of the rival Honda riders to knock the defending World Champion off the top spot. The Spaniard was swiftly displaced by Biaggi and finally sat content in second.

Perhaps the performance of the afternoon came from Yamaha's Marco Melandri who foraged into Honda territory and signalled his intentions midway through the hour by clocking a time that placed him fourth. He then went onto increase his pace and nestled into third for his best qualifying result of the season so far. Rossi was lucky not to slip to the second row of the grid but will be not too disappointed with fourth if the flamboyant Italian's preference for establishing an efficient race set-up is anything to go by; his form at Donington Park in recent years still makes him the most feared rider on the grid regardless of where he starts.

Carlos Checa gave the Fortuna Yamaha squad two riders inside the top five by heading the second row, Troy Bayliss (who was provisionally second fastest yesterday and slipped off twice), Ducati team-mate Loris Capirossi and Olivier Jacque lined up behind the Spaniard respectively. Colin Edwards and Tohru Ukawa sealed the top ten positions.

Bayliss, Edwards and Haga know the British track well from their World Superbike days. The Proton team were using their two-stroke machines and British hope Jeremy McWilliams could only take 19th while the WCM pairing of Chris Burns and David De Gea both suffered crashes; De Gea spectacularly at Goddards and ruled him out of action for the rest of the day.

MotoGP, 2003, Cinzano British Grand Prix

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