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The rain returns to haunt Le Mans

The rain returns to haunt Le Mans

The rain returns to haunt Le Mans

After causing mayhem at Shanghai two weeks ago, the rain was back to haunt the proceedings of the 250cc first qualifying practice this afternoon at Le Mans, creating one of the most unusual classification lists of recent times.

The 250cc qualifying practice finished this afternoon with only five riders qualifying in the provisional pole. As if that, in itself, was not usual enough, the usual front-runners were nowhere to be seen, leaving, instead, relatively unknown rider to make up the provisional front grid.

The only riders to qualify were: Anthony West 1st (Aprilia Germany), Arnaud Vincent 2nd (Scuderia Fantic Motor GP), Hugo Marchand 3rd (Campetella Racing), Alex de Angelis 4th (MS Aprilia Italia Corse) and Alex Debon 5th (Honda BQR).

Following the unusual finish, some of 250´s main front-runners gave their reactions to the first wet day at Le Mans.

Dani Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Honda): "The heavens opened during qualifying and we just waited to see if it would stop and allow us to complete a few laps, but it wasn't the case and it is very dangerous to ride in those conditions. It would have been very easy to fall because there were a lot of puddles and when I saw two riders crash on the straight I decided it wasn't worth risking it because there was nothing at stake. Tomorrow we'll have to go out in order to qualify but I hope that if it does rain it isn't as bad as today. I went well in the dry this morning, we tested some tyres and we've got some clear ideas."

Hiroshi Aoyama (Telefonica Movistar Honda): "This afternoon was madness; I've never seen a qualifying session with so much water. I went out to check the track conditions and came back in after four laps because it was really dangerous. I'm not too happy with the morning session either - I didn't feel as comfortable on the bike as I did last year but we know why and I'm sure I'll be higher up tomorrow."

Sebastian Porto (Aspar Team): `The rain broke the qualifying session. We had a lot of work to do but we couldn't ride on the track. I thought that the session was cancelled, but finally not, and I've preferred don't take risks. This morning we rode in dry conditions, the bike run well and feelings were nice. We'll try tomorrow be luckier with the weather´

Randy de Puniet (Aspar Team): `It was a shame the rain has ruined the day. We could ride this morning, but this afternoon our plan was to set some parts of the bike. But it was completely impossible because of the rain. The forecast announces rain again for tomorrow, we have to trust the rain doesn't fall on the 250cc riders´

Casey Stoner (Carrera Sunglasses – LCR): "This morning free session was pretty good as I lapped on same tyres since the beginning getting good lap times. The bike was very fast and the setting even better so I thought I could go faster in the qualifying session as well. Unfortunately it started to rain so I chatted with my friends for the whole time. The situation improved in the last three minutes of the session but there was not enough time to lap."


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