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Manuel Poggiali takes first ever MotoGP win in 125 thriller

Manuel Poggiali takes first ever MotoGP win in 125 thriller

Manuel Poggiali took his first ever MotoGP win in a thrilling 125 race, which could have seen any one of three riders take victory on the final corner. Poggiali, Mirko Giansanti and Toni Elias were amongst five riders to leave the rest of the field for dead with ten laps to go.

Gino Borsoi and Lucio Cecchinello were the other two riders, with Borsoi contesting the lead with Poggiali and Giansanti throughout the last section of the race. Elias was biding his time in fifth, but made his move with two laps to go, passing Cecchinello for fourth before moving into the podium positions past Borsoi. The 18 year old Spaniard then launched an incredible assault on the top two positions, overtaking Giansanti before challenging Poggiali for the lead on the last lap. It was a daring manouevre which cost him second place in the end, his failed efforts to get past Poggiali leaving space for Giansanti to charge through to second place.

It was a thrilling end to an outstanding race which once again proved that the 125 class is the most open in the MotoGP series. Championship leader Masao Azuma finished back in 8th position and is now just 8 points ahead of Poggiali. Youichi Ui, who started the day second behind Azuma in the overall standings has had a miserable weekend, capped off by 11th position in today’s race.

Raul Jara was the only rider to crash, whilst Stefano Perugini and Joan Olive were both forced to retire.

Poggiali said: ´I´m absolutely thrilled about my first win. To be honest I knew I had a chance before the race because my bike has been excellent this weekend and I thought as a team we had the edge over the others. Elias nearly got me at the end but I hung on to first – it was a great race.´

It was almost a bittersweet moment for Elias, who could have taken first but for a mistake on the penultimate corner. ´I gave it everything on that last lap. My tyres were finished and I lacked a bit of acceleration but I still could have won. Unfortunately I selected the wrong gear and lacked the revs to make the pass on Manuel and lost out on second to Giansanti. However, I am absolutely thrilled with third place.´

Tags:
125cc, 2001, Grand Prix Polini de France, RAC

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