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Youichi promising much in 125s in Portugal but juniors still on his tail

Youichi promising much in 125s in Portugal but juniors still on his tail

Once again Youichi Ui took the upper hand in this morning´s second free practice, setting the fastest time with his penultimate lap of the Estoril circuit. In trademark fashion, Ui languished amongst the back runners for the majority of the 45 minute practice, gradually warming up the bike, making small adjustments, and then attacking late on. He set a time under 0.1 seconds outside his provisional pole time of yesterday, proving that apart from speed, he can add consistency to his bow.

With Ui hanging around waiting to make his late surge, there was frenetic activity amongst the other riders battling to post a good time and confirm their bikes´ set-up. There was a good showing once again from the youngsters, 18 year old Manuel Poggiali coming in behind Ui, after having battled with his contemporaries from the Telefonica Movistar Junior team, Joan Olive and Championship leader Toni Elias throughout the session. The two young lads in blue had helped each other post good times, and both took stints at the head of the rest, however the red Gilera of Poggiali, and ultimately the Derbi of Ui prevented them from ending the session quickest.

With Olive third and Elias fourth, it was the turn of the veterans, Cecchinello riding into fifth and Azuma just behind him. These two, early favourites for the title this season, will need a result here in Portugal to keep their title challenge on its rails. The Italian is currently third in the race for the Championship, with the Japanese rider just behind him in fourth, 34 and 41 points respectively off Elias.

125cc, 2001, Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal, FP1

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