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Youichi Ui in imperious form in thrilling 125 race

Youichi Ui in imperious form in thrilling 125 race

Youichi Ui repeated his win of last year at the Cinzano British Grand Prix at Donington Park, dominating the race from early on, and winning by a comfortable margin, despite having slowed considerably over the last few laps. He was joined on the podium by the two young pretenders to the title, Toni Elias and Manuel Poggiali, who enjoyed a titanic last lap battle with veteran Masao Azuma.

Ui was in an imperious mood today, taking the lead on the fourth lap and from there stretching out a lead which had reached 4.6 seconds by the 13 lap, the halfway stage. Towards the end of the race he began to slow as he had seven seconds advantage over the second placed rider Azuma and crossed the line 3 seconds clear. Azuma himself, was unable to take second spot on the podium, after being tracked down by the two battling 18 year-olds, Elias and Poggiali. The Spaniard and the San Marino rider had been engaged in a real touch and go struggle for third place, but with three laps to go, were on Azuma´s heels. In a thrilling last lap, which saw Elias almost take off Poggiali on the penultimate bend, the Melbourne Loop, Azuma succumbed on the run in to the line to his younger colleagues. Elias took second in front an angry Poggiali, the Gilera rider signalling his annoyance with Elias´ aggression on the last lap with a kick out towards his bike.

With this second win of the year, Ui rekindles his challenge for the title which he lost so cruelly at the end of last season. He now has a total of 86 points and is in fourth place in the championship, behind Borsoi whose 8th placed moved him to 93 points. Poggiali keeps the lead in the championship, with 104 points, and Toni Elias moves up two spots to second and just seven behind Poggiali. At the halfway stage of the season it is impossible to predict who will be lifting the trophy in November, but you can bet your bottom dollar that all three of today´s podium finishers will be in the running.

125cc, 2001, Cinzano British Grand Prix, RAC

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