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Tamada snatches home pole at Motegi

Tamada snatches home pole at Motegi

Tamada snatches home pole at Motegi

Makoto Tamada snatched pole position for his home race with a stunning final lap at the Motegi circuit this afternoon. With hot conditions limiting grip on the track, several riders struggled to improve their provisional times from Friday and it looked as though provisional pole holder John Hopkins would start from the front of a MotoGP grid for the first time in his career.

However, Tamada mounted his record breaking charge as the chequered flag was waved, dislodging the American to take his second pole position in as many races.

Despite being unable to improve on his provisional time, Hopkins starts from the front row of the grid for the first time in his MotoGP career. Valentino Rossi was also unable to lower his best effort from yesterday but hung on to the final front row spot despite the best intentions of Max Biaggi, who closed to within 0.126 seconds of his great rival.

Biaggi's efforts consolidated fourth place at the front of the second row on tomorrow's grid, where he will be joined Colin Edwards and Marco Melandri, who also made good progress despite the conditions. The American and the Italian both took the place of a compatriot on the second row, with Loris Capirossi and Kenny Roberts unable to improve their times and dropping to the third row in seventh and eighth respectively.

Nicky Hayden qualified ninth fastest and completes the third row despite the effects of a recently broken collarbone damaged knee ligaments.

Elsewhere it was a bad day for Sete Gibernau, who will start from the fifth row in thirteenth place as he looks to stay in touch with Valentino Rossi, whom he trails by 29 points at the top of the championship.


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