Rain locks in the pole for Valentino Rossi

As had been forecasted, rain hit Jerez. As a result, yesterday's dry times were not bettered in today's qualifying session. During today's first practice, with the track fully wet, Rossi led, followed by the likes of Bayliss, Gibernau, Biaggi...

As had been forecasted, rain hit Jerez. As a result, yesterday's dry times were not bettered in today's qualifying session.

During today's first practice, with the track fully wet, Rossi led, followed by the likes of Bayliss, Gibernau, Biaggi and Byrne. Soon after, the clouds cleared up and the track had dried enough by the time the 125cc bikes took to the track for final qualifying. However, by the time the MotoGP bikes returned, rain had come back and left the track damp.

To everyone's surprise and delight, some of the underperformers of Welkom came back to their true form. Kenny Roberts Jr. led the charge with the fastest time on the wet/dry track. Australian Troy Bayliss followed, with Japanese Shinya Nakano behind.

Had yesterday's times not been counted, the second row would have been made up of Brazilian Alex Barros, British SuperBike Champion Shane Byrne and Jeremy McWilliams. Max Biaggi would have taken third row, followed by Norick Abe and known wet expert, Sete Gibernau. However, the grid is already set and all of this is only wishful thinking.

According to reports, Rossi finished just outside the top 15, and chose to end his session after saving a nasty high-side in the latter part. The "Doctor" claimed the surface was neither wet nor dry enough to gather any useful information.

The stage is set for the second GP of the season at Jerez. With more rain expected, do not be surprised if the big equalizer throws in a nut or two.

Starting lineup

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Valentino Rossi , Troy Bayliss , Alex Barros , Sete Gibernau , Shinya Nakano , Kenny Roberts , Shane Byrne , Abe Norick
Teams Williams