Italian GP: Qualifying

| September 15, 2001

After a rainy night, the sun was shining in Castiglione del Lago this Saturday for the qualification sessions of the GP of Italy. And as expected, the Italian riders were really fast on their track, getting two pole position for the first time this season.

Thomas Traversini got the holeshot in the first 125cc heat, and kept the leadership for 11 laps, followed by Italian countryman Alessio Chiodi. The former World Champion made the pass and won this heat, followed by Traversini, Italian Alex Puzar and Steve Ramon. In the second qualifying race, Norwegian Kenneth Gundersen led the first two laps, but Annimento passed him and gave Italy its second win of the day. Gundersen and Eric Eggens finished second and third, with Luigi Seguy coming back from 15th to seventh. Sorby, crowned 250cc French supercross champion one week ago, won the 12cc5 last-chance qualifier. New champ James Dobb was not competiting today, as the Briton is still suffering from his back and is off for three months with vertebra troubles.

The 250cc session was really exciting, as the track became faster and faster as the ground dried. Frederic Bolley had the pole at mid-session, but in the last 10 minutes Italian Claudio Federici got it in a very fast lap. Third at that moment, Mickael Pichon went back on the track and took the pole back. With three minutes to go, he was still leading the times, but just when he got the pole, Federici did a last fast lap, getting the pole position (the second after Switzerland) in the last minute! Behind him were four French riders, with Pichon, Bolley, Mickael Maschio and Aubert, followed by Chad Reed, Yves Demaria, Gordon Crockard and Pit Beirer.

Once more, Joel Smets was the fastest rider in the 500cc class, getting his sixth pole position of the season! Garcia Vico, Andrea Bartolini and Johnny Lindhe followed Smets, while Stefan Everts got only a seventh position.

The weather schedule for tomorrow is good, so we’ll probably see nice racing on this fast and spectacular track.

125 Qualifier 1: 1. Chiodi; 2. Traversini; 3. Puzar; 4. Ramon; 5. Caps; 6. Stevanini; 7. Cinelli; 8. Breugelmans; 9. Townley; 10. Strijbos; 11. Dobes; 12. Degli Esposti.

125 Qualifier 2: 1. Annimento; 2. Gundersen; 3. Eggens; 4. Jorgensen; 5. Bricca; 6. Cherubini; 7. Seguy; 8. Kallonen; 9. Belometti; 10. MacKenzie; 11. Metcalfe; 12. Oddenino.

125 LCQ: 1. Sorby; 2. Camerlengo; 3. De Reuver; 4. Guidetty; 5. Zaramba; 6. Ravaglia.

250 Qualifier: 1. Federici; 2. Pichon; 3. Bolley; 4. Maschio; 5. Aubert; 6. Reed; 7. Demaria; 8. Crockard; 9. Beirer; 10. Dugmore.

500 Qualifier: 1. Smets; 2. Garcia Vico; 3. Bartolini; 4. Lindhe; 5. Bervoets; 6. Johansson; 7. Everts; 8. King; 9. Dini; 10. Burnham.

By Freelance