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Katoh stretches lead to 49 points in Valencia

Katoh stretches lead to 49 points in Valencia

Daijiro Katoh stretched his Championship lead out to 49 points from Tetsuya Harada with four races remaining thanks to a dominant win in a split race at Valencia. Katoh had taken control early in the race after Harada had got the holeshot, with Melandri crashing out after a tussle with Nieto before the race was stopped due to rain on lap eleven.

Harada got another great departure from the line when the race was restarted on a dry track, and he proceeded to build a strong lead which took him above Katoh on the combined standings. Alzamora also got a great start and tagged on to team-mate Katoh to move past McWilliams and Nieto into the overall podium positions.

Honda rider Katoh began to chip away at Harada´s lead, eventually overtaking the Aprilia man, leaving both him and Alzamora behind. Meanwhile Nieto, lapping alone in fourth place after overtaking McWilliams, was improving his lap times and closing in on Alzamora in third.

Once in front Katoh was never in danger and he went on to comfortably take his eighth win of the season. Harada came home in second as Nieto leapfrogged Alzamora in the combined standings to take his first ever podium position. McWilliams was fifth.

250cc, 2001, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, RAC

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