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Katoh between the Aprilia lions

Katoh between the Aprilia lions

Twentieth pole-position for Tetsuya Harada (19 in 250, 1 in 500) who turned his fate of the lions around in the cage of the Honda wolf and re-conquered pole position for Aprilia in the last moments of the session, when Katoh was already celebrating. Immediatelly by the side of the two Japanese rivals, the other two Aprilia Rsw 250 of MS Aprilia Racing ridden by Marco Melandri and Jeremy McWilliams are lined up, making it three out of four motorcycles built by the racing department in Noale in the first row of the starting grid. The only doubt lays in the physical condition of Harada who still suffers form a weakening influenza.

Tetsuya Harada (MS Aprilia Racing) #31Pole-position in 1´52´789

´I´m very happy that I was able to conquer the pole position here at Motegi, but my problem is that I´m not in great shape physically: I can do one fast lap in these conditions without a problem, but it will be very difficult to maintain a high pace for a whole race. I hope that this night will help me to recover. The motorcycle works well, and we see how I will feel tomorrow.´

Marco ´Macio´ Melandri (MS Aprilia Racing) # 5Third time in 1´53´115

´Things goe quite well, I´m confident and also satisfied because in comparison to yesterday, we have improved considerably. In the end, I could have even done better if Yuzy hadn´t crashed and dirtied the tarmac. I saw that it wasn´t clean any more, and I eased off. I didn´t want to risk a crash for a better position considering I was in the front row already. Now we have just some doubts about the right tyfre choice, but with the suspension set-up, we have made good progress. When things go better on a Saturday than on Friday, I´m always confident because this means that we have found the right direction.´

Jeremy McWilliams (MS Aprilia Racing) #99Fourth time in 1´53´564

´I´m always fourth. Maybe a bit closer, but always fourth. I have to accept not to be able to go faster than these three, Harada, Katoh and even Melandri, but at least I´m the best of the rest. For the moment, I have to be happy with this, even though I will always try to do better.´

250cc, 2001

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