Poggiali snares provisional Suzuka pole
REIGNING world champion Manuel Poggiali drew first blood at a sun-drenched Suzuka today when he grabbed provisional pole for Sunday’s opening 125 GP.
The Italian was 0.2s faster than Spanish teenager Daniel Pedrosa in the new shortened qualifying sessions for the 125 class.
Poggiali still made good use of the 30 minutes available to increase his advantage over the field in the closing moments of the session.
With just under two minutes remaining he was only one-thousandth-of-a-second clear of Cecchinello, but then was the only rider to break the 2.15 barrier, with veteran Cecchinello dropping to sixth.
Gino Borsoi and Jaroslav Hules completed the front row, while genuine title contender Youichi Ui was only 14th fastest, a massive 1.5s off the front.
It was a disastrous debut for British teenager Chaz Davies as he was the only rider who failed to make the qualifying benchmark of 2.24.44.
The 15-year-old could only achieve a best time of 2.53.08 as he only completed three laps with mechanical problems hitting his Aprilia.
He gets another chance in tomorrow’s final qualifying session