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Gibernau sets home rule at Valencia

Gibernau sets home rule at Valencia

Gibernau sets home rule at Valencia

Sete Gibernau marked his territory at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today with the provisional pole time for the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana. Riding in front of his passionate home support, the Spaniard clocked a time of 1'33.531 in cool and windy conditions to stay clear of a late pole attack from Honda colleague Makoto Tamada by just 0.003 seconds.

Tamada's effort dislodged Valentino Rossi from second place and knocked Troy Bayliss off the provisional front row just minutes after the Australian had occupied top spot. Fourth place would represent Bayliss' best grid position of the season if he can repeat his performance in tomorrow's final qualifying session, ahead of what will be his final MotoGP appearance for Ducati on Sunday.

Bayliss is joined on the provisional second row by his team-mate Loris Capirossi, who was sixth fastest behind the Honda of Max Biaggi. Colin Edwards, who is making his final appearance for Honda this weekend before switching to Yamaha, was seventh fastest and is joined on the third row by Suzuki rider John Hopkins and Shinya Nakano on the Kawasaki.

Alex Barros qualified tenth fastest on his second bike after a crash early in the session. There were no other fallers today although Kenny Roberts has pulled out after making a brief return to action this morning.

The former World Champion set the fastest time in the first free practice session after missing the previous four rounds recovering from a dislocated elbow but later claimed that he would not have the strength to last race distance on Sunday and has been replaced at Suzuki for the remainder of the weekend by Gregorio Lavilla.


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