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Biaggi repeats Sachsenring pole

Biaggi repeats Sachsenring pole

Biaggi repeats Sachsenring pole

Max Biaggi repeated his grid position from one year ago at the Veltins Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, securing pole position with a lap which was almost a second inside his previous pole record at the Sachsenring circuit.

Biaggi set his fast laps with ten minutes of the session still remaining in temperatures around 10ºC higher than yesterday, with thirteen riders coming within a second of his time in an exciting finale but none of them able to dislodge the Italian from top spot.

"I am quite satisfied and quite happy because being in pole is always a good feeling," commented Biaggi, who became the first man ever to lap under 1'23 here with a lap of 1'22.756. "From yesterday we have improved a lot. Basically the set-up makes the bike a lot more controllable over bumps and I feel good about that.

"I went out on a qualifying tyre, put my head down and gave 100 per cent and it was a very good lap. I tried for a second one but I made a mistake. Anyway, I hoped my first one was enough and it was so thanks to the guys working with us at Honda and a great tyre from Michelin."

Valentino Rossi was one of three other riders to break the 1'23 mark, closing to within 0.084 seconds of his great rival with a late charge on the Yamaha. Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts followed the Italian on his best lap and crossed the line just metres behind with the third fastest time of the session, seal his second consecutive front row start after taking pole in the last round in Brazil.

The third rider was Sete Gibernau, currently tied on points with Rossi at the top of the championship, although the provisional pole holder has to settle for a second row start in tomorrow's race after qualifying fourth fastest on the Honda.

Shinya Nakano made it four manufacturers in the top five, equalling his best qualifying performance on the Kawasaki after leading the session just seconds before Biaggi's decisive effort. The second row is completed by Alex Barros, who looks certain to use a new exhaust system, fitted to his Honda for the first time this weekend, in tomorrow's race.

Several late attacks suffered from the increased track temperature at the end of the session - most notably from Carlos Checa, Troy Bayliss and Nicky Hayden, who all struggled to maintain their pace in the fast final sections of the circuit and had to conform with third row starts in that order.

Makoto Tamada's last lap was even less fortuitous, the race winner from the last round at Rio sliding out of the battle for a second row position and qualifying down in thirteenth. John Hopkins suffered an allergic reaction to a bee sting just moments before the session and, unable to receive antihistamine treatment at such short notice due to doping regulations, battled bravely to qualify one place ahead of Tamada in twelfth.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, VELTINS MOTORRAD GP DEUTSCHLAND, QP2

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