It was a crashing weekend for the new World Champions at Suzuka. In addition to 250cc Champion Katoh crashing early in the race weekend, both the 500cc Champion Valentino Rossi and 125cc champion Manuel Poggiali fell.

Rossi crashed on Friday and Saturday morning from the new four-stroke Honda but still managed to grab the very first pole in the new MotoGP class.

"The first crash was just an accident but the second crash was my fault and was stupid when I lost the front end," admitted Rossi, who was unhurt in both crashes.

Eighteen year old Poggiali was thrown high in the air when he fell from his 125cc Gilera in the final qualifying session. He was lucky to escape serious injury and finally qualified seventh.

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