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Edwards first to break two-minute mark in Qatar

Edwards first to break two-minute mark in Qatar

Edwards first to break two-minute mark in Qatar

Colin Edwards became the first man to complete a lap of the Losail International Circuit in less than two minutes as track conditions improved for the second free practice on Friday morning. Edwards was consistently almost a second quicker than the rest of the field and ended the session 0.771 seconds clear of nearest rival Carlos Checa.

The American's time of 1'59.527, set on race tyres, was almost two seconds quicker than the provisional pole lap set yesterday by Ruben Xaus and sets up an interesting final qualifying practice this afternoon. Valentino Rossi had another troublesome morning, running off track three or four times before setting the seventh fastest time, 1.472 seconds off the pace of Edwards.

However, the good news for Rossi was that his main title rival Sete Gibernau also had problems, lapping 0.079 seconds slower than the Italian and also running across the gravel. Rossi and Gibernau were not the only ones to take an off-track excursion, with Yuki Kagayama, Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi also missing their braking markers but avoiding potential crashes.

Sebastián Porto again set the pace in the 250cc class although not with the level of dominance he displayed yesterday. Dani Pedrosa got closer than anybody to the Argentinean, lapping 0.015 seconds slower than the quickest time of the morning of 2'04.421. Alex de Angelis was third fastest, over half a second down on the Spaniard.

Jorge Lorenzo pulverised the 125cc field with a lap of 2'09.973, leaving Andrea Dovizioso trailing in second place with a lap of 2'11.111. Dovizioso's title rivals Roberto Locatelli and Hector Barberá continued to have problems, lapping 11th and 19th fastest respectively.


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