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Biaggi snatches last gasp pole from Tamada

Biaggi snatches last gasp pole from Tamada

Biaggi snatches last gasp pole from Tamada

Max Biaggi ruined a fairytale home pole position for MotoGP rookie Makoto Tamada on the final lap of the second qualifying session for the Gauloises Pacific Grand Prix of Motegi. Biaggi clocked a new pole record at the Japanese circuit with a time of 1'47.696 with just seconds remaining of an entertaining final practice dominated. It was the third pole position of the season for Biaggi, who his aiming for his second win of the season tomorrow.

Other than a brief flirtation with second place by Yamaha rider Carlos Checa midway through the session, the top positions remained largely in the hands of Honda riders, and the home factory swept the top five positions on the grid in the late push for times. Whilst Tamada lost out on pole, second place represents his best ever gird position and first front row start. Valentino Rossi made a late challenge for pole but could only manage third, whilst Sete Gibernau was fourth fastest despite improving on his provisional pole time.

It was only a late effort from Gibernau that denied Nicky Hayden his first front row start. The American rookie led the session with just ten minutes remaining before conforming with a best ever grid position of fifth. After crashing his Ducati on the first lap, Loris Capirossi recovered his rhythm at the end of the session and broke onto the second row in sixth, ahead of Yamaha pair Checa and Alex Barros.

Marco Melandri was the victim of Barros' late effort, watching from the garage as he dropped back to ninth place after the chequered flag had been waved. The Italian youngster is joined on the third row by Troy Bayliss, Tohru Ukawa and Shinya Nakano.

MotoGP, 2003

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