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Rossi, Katoh, and Ui warm up quickest as McCoy hits the deck

Rossi, Katoh, and Ui warm up quickest as McCoy hits the deck

Valentino Rossi made up for his fourth on the grid by showing what he was capable of this morning. He set the fastest time in the 500cc warm up session, just ahead of home rider Nori Haga, who will look to make up for a season of lost promise in front of his local crowd this afternoon. Alex Barros, Tohru Ukawa and Kagayama completed the top five, with Biaggi making tenth position and pole holder Loris Capirossi in eighth. Australian rider Garry McCoy had a heavy fall halfway through the session, and the sight of his prone figure being stretchered away into an ambulance, will not please his fans. He has a contusion of his right foot and although Peter Clifford, Red Bull WCM team manager, said that McCoy feels fine, he will undergo a medical check before the race.

The quarter-litre class warmed up with the two main protagonists of the season hitting the front once again. Daijiro Katoh and Tetsuya Harada, the two Japanese rivals are slugging it out for supremacy on their home soil and it certainly looks as though it will be an exciting battle when the race gets under way. Behind these two came Fonsi Nieto, who celebrated his first podium spot in Valencia. Mid-way through the session, there was controversy when a flurry of gestures between himself and Harada culminated in the Spaniard moving sharply across the track to barge into his rival. It wasn´t clear what sparked the incident, but it will not have pleased Aprilia bosses. Behind these three came Melandri, Alzamora, Locatelli and McWilliams.

Conversely, the 125s had a pretty incident free session, with Ui preparing for his start from pole position by setting the fastest lap of the session ahead of Italian Gino Borsoi and Championship leader Toni Elias. The main news from the session was the position of Manuel Poggiali, who ended up 16th as the twenty minutes came to a close. We will have to wait to the race to see if this has anything to do with the crash he had in the final seconds of yesterday´s qualifying session, or whether it was just a blip. Alex De Angelis, Dani Pedrosa, Simone Sanna and Lucio Cecchinello took the next four places behind Elias.

500cc, 2001

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