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Little Known van den Goorbergh Takes Pole at Czech 500 GP

Jurgen van den Goorbergh unexpectedly took his MuZ to the pole position during qualifying for the Czech 500 GP on August 21, 1999.

van den Goorbergh took pole in what was generally believed to be a fluke at the Catalunya GP earlier this year. This time, besting Alex Criville (Honda) and Max Biaggi (Yamaha), van den Goorbergh erased any doubts about this earlier performance at Catalunya.

Biaggi, who is generally considered the most talented rider in the 500 class in the absence of five time champion Mick Doohan, reportedly has his Yamaha working to his liking — finally. It has been a frustrating year for Biaggi, who has complained of handling problems. Criville was second in qualifying, with Biaggi third. Biaggi won last year’s Czech GP.

American Kenny Roberts, a three-time winner this year, qualified on the second row, with the sixth best time.

Top 10 Qualifiers:
1. Jurgen van den Goorbergh, #17 (NED) 2’01.572 (MuZ)
2. Alex Criville, #3 (SPA) 2’01.617 (Honda)
3. Max Biaggi, #2 (ITA) 2’01.720 (Yamaha)
4. Tetsuya Harada, #31 (JPN) 2’01.758 (Aprilia)
5. Tadayuki Okada, #8 (JPN) 2’01.894 (Honda)
6. Kenny Roberts, #10 (USA) 2’01.912 (Suzuki)
7. Carlos Checa, #4 (SPA) 2’02.107 (Yamaha)
8. Norick Abe, #6 (JPN) 2’02.237 (Yamaha)
9. John Kocinski, #19 (USA) 2’02.418 (Honda)
10. Nobuatsu Aoki, #9 (JPN) 2’02.429 (Suzuki)