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Marvellous Melandri takes first ever 250 win

Marvellous Melandri takes first ever 250 win

Marco Melandri made a magnificent penultimate corner maneouvre on Daijiro Katoh in today´s 250 race to take his first ever win since stepping up to the quarter-litre class at the beginning of last season. The Italian youngster and his Aprilia team-mate Tetsuya Harada had stayed with the Championship leader throughout the 29 laps of the race, as fellow contenders Emilio Alzamora and Jeremy McWilliams crashed out to leave the trio to do battle.

Melandri was in second place behind Katoh with one lap to go and looked to have thrown his chances away when he made a mistake, which Harada failed to capitalise on as Katoh broke clear. Somehow the pair pulled the Honda rider back on the last lap, and on the penultimate corner Melandri made an exquisite move up the inside and timed his braking to perfection, to leave Katoh with no time to react on the slow, uphill final corner. Harada came in third behind his Japanese compatriot and now lies 44 points behind him in the Championship standings. Melandri cut down the gap to the leader to 52 points.

Roberto Rolfo finished over 18 seconds behind the front three to finish fourth, followed by solid performances from Randy de Puniet, Alex Debon and Alex Hoffman, who scored his best result of the season in front of his home crowd. Hoffman´s team-mate Katja Poensgen was 20th but may be grateful to have finished her first ever home Grand Prix as a total of twelve riders hit the dust. Eight of the top ten machines to finish the race were Aprilia.

250cc, 2001, Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, RAC

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