Rossi on pole at Phillip Island

Published: 14 October 2003

Valentino Rossi has taken his Honda RCV to pole position for Sunday’s Australian GP, beating Ducati’s Loris Capirossi in to second place.

The newly crowned world champion beat Capirossi’s team-mateTroy Bayliss to the provisional pole after the first qualifying session on Friday and went on to knock almost half a second off his time on Saturday to set the fastest lap of the weekend and take the top spot.

Bayliss was looking to emulate Friday’s good form when he came off his Ducati Desmosedici in a high speed crash, but the Australian managed to get back out on his spare bike to take the final position on the front row of the grid.

Nicky Hayden looked likely to get his first ever front row start but was held up by Sete Gibernau on a lap that looked set to give him pole. The American eventually had to settle for fifth place just 0.18 seconds behind Bayliss.

Max Biaggi took hi Camel Honda to sixth place on the grid followed by Yamaha rookie Marco Melandri and Honda team-mate Tohru Ukawa.

Brit Jeremy McWilliams continued his hot pace on the Proton KR V5 finishing the session with the tenth fastest time 0.065 seconds behind the Fortuna Yamaha of Carlos Checa.

250cc: Toni Elias knocked almost a second off his Friday qualifying time to take his fifth 250cc pole position in a row.

The Repsol Telefonica Movistar rider beat Sebastian Porto in to second place by just 0.08 seconds with Franco Bataini and Randi De Puniet finishing the front row of the grid.

Fonsi Nieto, Sylvain Guintoli, Manuel Poggiali, and Roberto Rolfo finish the top eight.

125cc: Stefano Perugini has set a new qualifying lap record of 1:37.342 to take pole position for the 125cc race, beating Alex De Angelis to the top spot by just 0.113 seconds.

Mika Kallio continues to show what the new Red Bull KTM can do finishing the session with the third quickest time just 0.3 seconds behind Perugini, while Australian Casey Stoner finishes the front row a further 0.143 seconds down.

Jorge Lorenzo, Hector Barbera, Mirko Giansanti and Andrea Dovizioso finished the top eight.

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