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Nieto hangs onto pole position thanks to provisional time

Nieto hangs onto pole position thanks to provisional time

Nieto hangs onto pole position thanks to provisional time

Fonsi Nieto starts from pole position for tomorrow's 250cc British Grand Prix despite being one of the only riders not to improve his time from Friday.

The Spaniard couldn't be nudged from the top spot in hot and sunny conditions thanks to his laptime of 1 min 33 seconds that nobody was able to crack; in fact the Aprilia man remained the only rider to dip under the 34 second barrier, electing today to focus on race set-up.

The 45 minute 250cc session reached an exciting conclusion as both Franco Battaini (who was fourth at the time) and Manuel Poggiali crashed on their last laps and in the final minutes of the period. Both riders fell on the exit of Goddards corner and Poggiali, coming through unscathed although seeming to receive a heavy knock to the head, was able to amble to the press conference thanks to his previous best lap that positioned him second on the grid. Toni Elias saved his fastest circulation until the last possible moment and jumped up from the lower top ten to third in front of Naoki Matsudo who recorded a similar achievement by assuming fourth and the last slot on the front row as the clock ran down.

Most of the riders were only shaving tenths off their best laps from Friday. Elias managed half a second and Battaini almost a full second until his spill that dropped him to sixth overall behind Randy de Puniet. The first Honda rider was Roberto Rolfo in seventh who was a tenth of a second faster than Seba Porto in eighth. Sylvain Guintoli and Ant West completed the top ten. Britain's hope of success Chaz Davies qualified in 17th and has a very good chance of taking some decent points at his home GP.

250cc, 2003, Cinzano British Grand Prix

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