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Pedrosa scare as Porto storms to pole

Pedrosa scare as Porto storms to pole

Pedrosa scare as Porto storms to pole

Dani Pedrosa got a double shock in the 250cc session, firstly with a high-speed crash which brought back memories of the incident that left him with two broken ankles at this circuit last year and secondly by a stunning pole record lap of 1'32.099 by Sebastián Porto, his only rival for the title.

Pedrosa, who escaped without injury, needs just two points from tomorrow's race to become the youngest ever 250cc World Champion but got a harsh reminder today that anything can happen. The Spaniard will start from the outside of the front row in fourth place behind Porto, Alex de Angelis and reigning World Champion Manuel Poggiali, who were both unable to improve their qualifying times.

Randy de Puniet made improvements on his time from yesterday but was held up by traffic on a fast lap and had to settle for the second row in fifth place ahead of Fonsi Nieto, Hiroshi Aoyama, and Franco Battaini. Like his team-mate Pedrosa, Aoyama suffered a heavy crash in the morning session and made slow progress in the afternoon before breaking into seventh place on his last lap.

Aoyama's effort knocked both Toni Elías and Chaz Davies back a position but tenth place for the British teenager still represents his best ever qualifying performance in Grand Prix. Davies is joined on the third row by his team-mate Johan Stigefelt, who scored his best grid position of the season in twelfth place.

Tags:
250cc, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, QP2

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