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Edwards smashes pole record at Le Mans

Edwards smashes pole record at Le Mans

Edwards smashes pole record at Le Mans

After a discreet rookie season in 2003, Colin Edwards finally made his mark on the MotoGP World Championship this afternoon with a stunning provisional pole time of 1'33.870 in the first qualifying practice for the Grand Prix Polini de France. With blue skies and bright sunshine gracing the freshly-laid Le Mans circuit, no fewer than twelve MotoGP riders lapped inside Valentino Rossi's previous pole record of 1'35.208, but it was Edwards who eventually made it count to sit on top of the MotoGP time sheets for the first time in his career.

Edwards' factory colleague Nicky Hayden consolidated early dominance for Honda with the second fastest time, just 0.096 seconds slower than his Amercian compatriot, clinching second place to push Yamaha man Carlos Checa out to the edge of the provisional front row after the Spaniard had dominated for much of the session.

Marco Melandri continued his impressive start to the season, lapping as the second quickest Yamaha in fourth place, one row ahead of his factory colleague and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi, who was edged out to seventh place by World Championship leader Sete Gibernau and his Honda colleague Makoto Tamada. Rossi is joined on the provisional third row by Max Biaggi on the Honda and Shinya Nakano, who continues to impress in his first season with Kawasaki.

Alex Barros, who finished on the podium here last season with Yamaha, was tenth fastest on the Honda and is joined on the fourth row by Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts and Ducati's Troy Bayliss, the final rider to dip under Rossi's previous record.


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