Jeremy McWilliams has taken his two-stroke Proton KR3 to the fifth fastest time in the first practice session at the Welkom MotoGP on what is potentially the last appearance of a two-stroke bike in the championship.
The high-altitude twisty track gave the lightweight bike the chance to compete with the four-strokes allowing McWilliams to clock a best time of 1:35.062, only missing out on fourth place to Sete Gibernau by 0.035 seconds.
Valentino Rossi took 20 laps to take his factory Honda up to its best time of 1:34.228, 0.6 seconds outside the lap record set by his then team-mate Tohru Ukawa last year.
Max Biaggi was second fastest behind Rossi setting a time just two tenths of a second behind his Italian rival.
Loris Capirossi took his Ducati Desmosedici to the third fastest time with a 1:34.727 while his team-mate Troy Baylis was only 0.089 seconds behind McWilliams in sixth place.
1 Valentino ROSSI 1 1'34.228 2 Max BIAGGI 1'34.436 3 Loris CAPIROSSI 1'34.727 4 Sete GIBERNAU 1'35.027 5 Jeremy McWILLIAMS 1'35.062 6 Troy BAYLISS 1'35.151 7 Alex BARROS 1'35.553 8 Tohru UKAWA 1'35.666 9 Colin EDWARDS 1'35.681 10 Noriyuki HAGA 1'35.911 11 Shinya NAKANO 1'36.154 12 Nicky HAYDEN 1'36.325 13 Kenny ROBERTS 1'36.439 14 Olivier JACQUE 1'36.581 15 Carlos CHECA 1'36.642 16 Norick ABE 1'36.934 17 John HOPKINS 1'37.085 18 Nobuatsu AOKI 1'37.228 19 Makoto TAMADA 1'37.230 20 Andrew PITT 1'37.758 21 Garry McCOY 1'37.987
Check later today for the latest from the first MotoGP qualifying session in Welkom and all the World Superbike action in Sugo.