Smith on provisional pole for 125cc race

Friday, 7 March 2008

Following up on his timesheet-topping performances in both the Official Test visit to Qatar and the first of Friday night's practice sessions, Polaris World's Bradley Smith took provisional pole for Sunday's 125cc ‘showdown at sundown' with a 2'05.286 lap of the Losail International Circuit.

Following up on his timesheet-topping performances in both the Official Test visit to Qatar and the first of Friday night's practice sessions, Polaris World's Bradley Smith took provisional pole for Sunday's 125cc ‘showdown at sundown' with a 2'05.286 lap of the Losail International Circuit.

The Briton cut over 1.5 seconds off his time from the early evening, also narrowly beating his fastest lap from the testing visit to the Middle Eastern emirate. Smith didn't have things all his way on the first night of action in Qatar, however, as he took a late tumble when trying to lower his times yet further with three minutes left on the clock. With no ill-effects from the crash, the 17 year-old is now in a prime position to take pole on Saturday.

Whereas the British contingent had earlier doubled up in the top three courtesy of Blusens Aprilia rider Scott Redding, in the late night run it was the turn of Danny Webb to turn heads with a time three tenths of a second off that of Smith. The DeGraaf Grand Prix rider made the most of his new competitive Aprilia machinery for a morale-boosting second place on the provisional front row.

Also onboard new machinery in 2008, Ajo Motorsport's Mike di Meglio was the only other rider to break the 2'06 barrier with his factory Derbi bike. The Frenchman is joined on the first line of attack by Simone Corsi, who came off his Aprilia late in the session in a light crash.

The provisional second row lines up KTM newcomer Raffaele de Rosa, Emmi Caffe Latte's Sandro Cortese, 2007 World Champion Gabor Talmacsi and Spaniard Nico Terol. Expected to appear amongst the frontrunners, Bancaja Aspar rider Sergio Gadea had an early crash and played no further part in the qualifying session in an unfortunate start for the Spaniard.

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