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Porto takes first pole of the season

Porto takes first pole of the season

Porto takes first pole of the season

Sebastian Porto took his first pole position of the season in the 250cc class with a brave last lap attempt as droplets of rain began to fall at the end of the final qualifying session. Porto´s best lap of 1´25.728 dislodged factory colleague Roberto Rolfo from the top of the time sheets after the Italian had looked set for his debut career pole, and the Argentinean will start from the front of the grid for the second time having also done so at Estoril last season.

Despite Rolfo´s disappointment at missing out on pole, second position is his highest ever starting position and it marks the first time Honda have taken the front two slots on the grid since Tohru Ukawa and Daijiro Kato at Malaysia in 2000. Rolfo will also take confidence from the fact that he almost won the race here last year when Marco Melandri crashed and handed him a clear lead, only for the race to be red flagged due to rain and the victory handed to the World Champion-elect.

The omens are on the side of the Japanese factory pair, but the season so far has been dominated by Aprilia, who hold all the remaining positions on the front three rows bar one. Only Yamaha rider Naoki Matsudo was able to break the Italian factory hegemony as Franco Battaini and Fonsi Nieto completed the front row, with the Japanese rider starting from the second row alongside Randy De Puniet, Manuel Poggiali and Sylvain Guintoli.

250cc, 2003, Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

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