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Daijiro Katoh writes himself into the history books with fourth consecutive 250 win

Daijiro Katoh writes himself into the history books with fourth consecutive 250 win

Daijiro Katoh took victory in this afternoon´s 250 race to become the first rider to win the first four races of the season in the half litre class since the legendary Mike Hailwood in 1966. The Japanese rocket wrote himself into the history books with the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap to snatch victory from Japanese compatriot Tetsuya Harada.

Katoh and Harada fought an intense battle at the front of the field, as Marco Melandri tucked in behind to hang on to third spot. Melandri´s incredible podium quest, having dislocated his shoulder just yesterday, was helped by the ongoing battle behind him between Spaniards Emilio Alzamora and Fonsi Nieto. Alzamora eventually came out on top to record his best ever finish in the 250 class, whilst Nieto had to settle for fifth for the third consecutive race.

Roberto Locatelli and Jeremy McWilliams made it an all Aprilia battle for sixth, but with McWilliams struggling to regain his rhythm after and early exit across the gravel it was the Italian who eventually came out on top.

De Puniet was the only crash victim, having started from his best ever grid position in sixth. The Frenchman was pushing too hard in front of his home crowd and eventually paid the price.

´This victory was the most difficult of the season so far´ said an exhausted Katoh after the race. ´I tried to break clear like I have on previous occasions but I was unable to and when Harada went past I decided to wait until the last lap before making my move.´

´I knew that my practice times were good and that I could give Katoh a good run today´ said Harada. ´However, I was always aware that his bike is quicker than mine out of the corner so I expected him to try and overtake me on the last lap. He made his move just as I had anticipated but there was nothing I could do about it.´

250cc, 2001, Grand Prix Polini de France, RAC

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