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South African GP Pole to Okada (500cc) and Capirossi (250cc)

Tadayuki Okada (Honda) set a blistering pace during the second qualifying session before Sunday’s South African GP, besting second fastest Max Biaggi (Yamaha) by nearly 4/10ths of a second on the slippery and dangerous track.

Okada has a mathematical chance to win the championship over teammate Alex Criville (Honda), who qualified sixth fastest. More than likely, however, Criville will clinch the championship tomorrow despite riding in pain with the week-old broken hand suffered in Australia. If he does, Criville will finally emerge from Mick Doohan’s shadow.

Loris Capirossi (Honda) narrowly edged out Shinya Nakano (Yamaha) to take the 250 pole. Points leader Valentino Rossi (Aprilia) qualified sixth.

500 cc Qualifying Results (Top 10)

1. Tadayuki Okada (Honda) 1’35.930
2. Max Biaggi (Yamaha) 1’36.320
3. Sete Gibernau (Honda) 1’36.436
4. Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) 1’36.516
5. Juan Borja (Honda) 1’36.713
6. Alex Criville (Honda) 1’36.731
7. Carlos Checa (Yamaha) 1’37.019
8. Alex Barros (Honda) 1’37.160
9. John Kocinski (Honda) 1’37.207
10. Jurgen vd Goorbergh (MuZ) 1’37.224

250cc Qualifying Results (Top 10)

1. Loris Capirossi (Honda) 1’38.287
2. Shinya Nakano (Yamaha) 1’38.299
3. Tohru Ukawa (Honda) 1’38.375
4. Olivier Jacque (Yamaha) 1’38.583
5. Tomomi Manako (Yamaha) 1’38.609
6. Valentino Rossi (Aprilia) 1’38.802
7. Stefano Perugini (Honda) 1’38.900
8. Ralf Waldmann (Aprilia) 1’38.988
9. Sebastian Porto (Yamaha) 1’39.028
10. Franco Battaini (Aprilia) 1’39.036