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Checa confirms progress with provisional pole

Checa confirms progress with provisional pole

Checa confirms progress with provisional pole

Carlos Checa set provisional pole position for the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky in wet conditions at the Brno circuit today, with heavy spells of intermittent rain making life difficult for the MotoGP riders on their return to action after a four-week summer break.

Holiday memories were quickly washed away by the first downpour this morning, when dense grey clouds quickly dampened any hopes of a sunny respite during the afternoon qualifying session.

Checa made the best of the situation with a lap of 2'11.188, backing up claims that he had found a good base set-up for the Yamaha M1 after a one-day test at Donington Park before the break. "I had a good feeling today and it was satisfying because the conditions were the same for everyone," reflected the Spaniard.

"We set the bike up quite well and we've been able to fit the right tyre at the right moment. In the wet I already feel quite comfortable even though I expect the weather to be much better over the rest of the weekend. Even in the dry I think we can be good because after I finished our test at Donington I felt good. I hope that in the dry I can recover that feeling on the bike."

Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi also confirmed recent progress made by Ducati with the second and fourth fastest times respectively, with Bayliss looking to repeat his podium finish at this circuit from last season, when he led for long spells of the race.

Sete Gibernau took delivery of a new specification engine from Honda but opted to stick with the tried and tested version due to today's conditions and qualified third fastest, completing the provisional front row.

Capirossi is joined on the second row by Honda rider Alex Barros and the surprise of the first day, Kurtis Roberts, who qualified sixth fastest on the Proton KR V5. Roberts, who is the younger son of the Team Principal and former World Champion Kenny, qualified two places ahead of his brother Kenny Jr, who was eighth quickest on the Suzuki behind Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, the series leader. Ruben Xaus, sporting a new colour scheme on the D'Antin Ducati, completes the provisional third row.

Elsewhere there were impressive performances in thirteenth and fourteenth place respectively from Michel Fabrizio on the WCM and fellow rookie Aprilia rider Shane Byrne, who had never previously visited the circuit.


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