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Porto leads Aprilia charge

Porto leads Aprilia charge

Porto leads Aprilia charge

Sebástian Porto led an all-Aprilia provisional front row in Qatar this afternoon but was head and shoulders above his factory colleagues as he tackled the Losail International Circuit with unerring confidence. The Argentinean rider was over a second faster than his closest challenger Randy de Puniet, clocking a lap of 2'05.096 to confirm his dominance on the first day of action.

Fonsi Nieto seemed to be boosted by the fresh slate offered to the riders in Qatar, qualifying third fastest to join his team-mate Porto on the provisional front row. Alex de Angelis clinched fourth to complete an almost perfect day for the Italian factory, whose joy was tempered by the news that Manuel Poggiali will not be racing this weekend.

The current World Champion faces two weeks on the sidelines after badly gashing his leg in a freak accident, having fallen through a glass partition playing squash on Wednesday evening.

Series leader Dani Pedrosa was the fastest Honda rider, qualifying fifth fastest ahead of his factory colleagues Toni Elías and Hiroshi Aoyama. The Japanese factory trio are joined on the second row by Aprilia privateer Franco Battaini, who dropped to eighth place after flirting with top spot midway through the session.


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