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Simoncelli hits form on first day

Simoncelli hits form on first day

Simoncelli hits form on first day

Marco Simoncelli returned to the form he had showed signs of producing at the back end of the 2003 season with provisional pole position for the 125cc Gran Premio Marlboro de España at Jerez today. The Italian teenager lapped in 1'48.106 to top the time sheets at the end of an entertaining session which saw several riders swap positions in the final few minutes on an unusually cool track which suffered from cloudy conditions and a light breeze.

A last gasp effort from Alvaro Bautista came so late it almost went unnoticed by the other riders on their cool down lap, but it was enough to lift the Spaniard to second place and relegate Casey Stoner to third. Stoner only made it to the front row after a late surge himself, catapulting from 19th place to eighth on the penultimate lap before mounting a strong pole effort on his last lap which faltered only in the final split.

Pablo Nieto, who has taken pole here for the past two seasons, completes the front row in fourth place.

World Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso, winner of the first round in South Africa two weeks ago, was fifth fastest and heads up the provisional second row from veteran Aprilia pair Roberto Locatelli and Youichi Ui and KTM youngster Mika Kallio.


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