Jul 27, 2001
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By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Iain MacPherson fired the first shot for the British riders at Brands Hatch today as the weekend's World Championship motorcycle racing action got off to a sweltering start in the sun. MacPherson got the Fuchs Kawasaki ZX-6R to the top of the timesheet despite some determined riding from Katsuaki Fujiwara on the Alstare GSX-R750 and Pere Riba on the Ten Kate Honda CBR600F4i. Fujiwara was second fastest with Riba in third.<BR><BR>Wild Card rider Karl Harris had led the session in the opening minutes but slipped down the order as the pace got hotter. The heat was obviously<BR>getting to some of the riders, there was a pitlane incident between Fabien Foret and James Whitham. The Ten Kate rider had complained to James Whitham on the track after a strip of spilt oil on the circuit forced Whitham onto the racing line while cruising round on an out lap. Whitham didn't appreciate Foret's comments and the pair jostled each other as they entered the pit lane. As the two riders, whose teams are in adjacent garages for the weekend, came to a halt Whitham struck out at Foret. The pair then got into<BR>an ugly brawl and only outside intervention stopped it from getting out of hand.<BR><BR>First Qualifying, World Supersport.<BR>Best Lap Times.<BR><BR>1. Iain MacPherson, GBR, Kawasaki, 1:30.170<BR>2. Katsuaki Fujiwara, JPN, Suzuki, 1:30.184<BR>3. Pere Riba, ESP, Honda, 1:30.332<BR>4. Andrew Pitt, AUS, Kawasaki, 1:30.429<BR>5. Fabrizio Pirovano, ITA, Suzuki, 1:30.476<BR>6. Piergorgio Bontempi, ITA, Yamaha, 1:30.483<BR>7. Paolo Casoli, ITA, Yamaha, 1:30.535<BR>8. Steve Plater, GBR, Kawasaki, 1:30.603<BR>9. Matt Llewellyn, GBR, Yamaha, 1:30.650<BR>10. Karl Harris, GBR, Suzuki, 1:30.734