Sete Gibernau has topped the time sheets for the first qualifying session at the third round of the MotoGP World championship in Jerez.
The Spanish rider put in over 20 laps to ensure he took the top spot with a time of 1:42.285, just outside the circuit’s best lap of 1:42.163 set by Valentino Rossi last year.
Tohru Ukawa launched himself to the second fastest time improving his morning practice time by 1.4 seconds to finish just 0.147 seconds behind Gibernau.
The top eight riders all finished within a second of each other with fourth place Valentino Rossi separating the Ducatis of Loris Capirossi in third and Troy Bayliss in fifth.
Carlos Checa took his Fortuna Yamaha M1 to seventh place splitting the Suzuki GSV-Rs of Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins. It’s the first time the Suzukis have been in the top ten this season.
Max Biaggi improved on his 19th place practice time but still only took his Honda RCV to a 12th fastest time of 1:43.661, while Colin Edwards finished on 1:44.325, leaving the Texan with a provisional 19th place.
Final qualifying starts tomorrow at 1pm, UK time, with the warm-up for the race starting at 9am on Sunday. Check back for regular updates throughout the weekend.
1 Sete Gibernau 1:42.285, 2 Tohru Ukawa 1:42.432, 3 Loris Capirossi 1:42.571, 4 Valentino Rossi 1:42.624, 5 Troy Bayliss 1:42.674, 6 Kenny Roberts 1:43.026, 7 Carlos Checa 1:43.064, 8 John Hopkins 1:43.244, 9 Nobuatsu Aoki 1:43.367, 10 Shinya Nakano 1:43.417, 11 Makoto Tamada 1:43.445, 12 Max Biaggi 1:43.661, 13 Alex Barros 1:43.743, 14 Noriyuki Haga 1:43.944, 15 Nicky Hayden 1:44.017, 16 Jeremy McWilliams 1:44.036, 17 Olivier Jacque 1:44.100, 18 Marco Melandri 1:44.102, 19 Colin Edwards 1:44.325, 20 Alex Hofmann 1:44.744, 21 Andrew Pitt 1:44.886, 22 Garry McCoy 1:44.945.
To comment on this story click the link on the right to go to our GP discussion board.