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Biaggi marks hot pace on cloudy first day in Brazil

Biaggi marks hot pace on cloudy first day in Brazil

Biaggi marks hot pace on cloudy first day in Brazil

An intense MotoGP first qualifying practice for the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix kicked off proceedings at the Nelson Piquet in humid but generally dry conditions this afternoon. Max Biaggi set a new pole position record at the 4.933km circuit with a time of 1.49.876 after a hotly disputed session which saw Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi all top the time sheets and beat the previous pole record here of 1'50.568 set by Biaggi last season. The electric pace of the top four riders in the championship sealed the top four positions on the grid, with 0.522 seconds separating Rossi - fourth fastest behind Capirossi and Gibernau respectively - on the outside of the front row from Shinya Nakano, who heads up the second.

After qualifying sixth fastest at Estoril two weeks ago Nakano was again on form, setting the fifth fastest time ahead of his Yamaha colleague and local favourite Alex Barros. Makoto Tamada continued his progressive return to form with the seventh fastest time after holding a provisional front row slot for the first half of the session. Fellow Honda rider Tohru Ukawa bounced back from a low speed front end crash to seal the final second row position at the end of the session.

Elsewhere, it was a good day for Kawasaki as Garry McCoy provisionally qualified on the third row in eleventh place, whilst team-mate Andrew Pitt will be pleased to have out-qualified former World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards in 20th.

MotoGP, 2003

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