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Flying Katoh triumphs in Phillip Island and gets closer to the title

Flying Katoh triumphs in Phillip Island and gets closer to the title

PHILLIP ISLAND - Telefonica MoviStar Honda Japanese rider Daijiro Katohdominated the Australian Grand Prix and scored his ninth victory of theseason leading a fantastic race by almost six seconds over compatriot titlerival Harada. After starting from third position on the grid, the talentedlittle fellow from Saitama just left three laps to his adversaries, thentook the lead, pushed hard continuously and never turned back until the end,clocking the fastest lap in 1.34.560, and taking out the most of his NSR.An impressive performance for Championship leader Katoh, who couldabsolutely make up for Motegi Grand Prix and who finally gained 5 morepoints over Harada winning the duel against him easily. Today´s win was the15th one of his entire 250 class world career, marked his 23rd podiumtotally and made Honda increase its advantage over Aprilia machines in theconstructor classification.: 311 points to 305.

While as for World Championship classification there are 29 points advantagenow for Daijiro and two races left: next Sunday´s GP in Sepang a dream willmay be come true.

Telefonica MoviStar Honda Spanish rider Alzamora, at his debut on PhillipIsland circuit riding a quarter of litre machine, was sixth fastest after afierce battle with the second leading group.

Daijiro Katoh #74 - Honda NSR 250Position: 1stTime: 39´48.180

´I couldn´t win at my home Grand Prix last Sunday in Motegi and I honestlyfelt very frustrated for that, though it was not my fault. So I came toAustralia doubled motivated to win, that was my only aim. I kept deeplyconcentrated during all qualifying, trying to get a good lap time and todayI just felt in perfect condition and I´m very happy to have taken thisvictory here. I will continue to do my best in Malaysia: I´m keen to scoremy best win ever up there. It´s very important for the finaltarget!´

Emilio Alzamora #7 - Honda NSR 250Position: 6thTime: 40´02.929

´I´m half satisfied with today´s race, because apart from the result I couldget a good rhythm. I was lucky not to get involved in a crash that occurredjust in front of me, but however I lost contact with the leading group. Ipushed hard and the tyres got used so when I was behind McWilliams and Fonsiand I wanted to overtake them, I could not, as my feeling with the machinewas not right anymore. Anyway, it was my first time here in 250 andconsidering I started from third row and I finally classified in thirdposition is not bad at all´.

Fausto Gresini - Team manager

´After the misfortune we had in Motegi, it was very important for Daijiro tomake up for that race. During all week-end´s practices it was clear that hewanted to win here. He got the right setting and a good feeling with hisbike and though the wind slightly disturbed him, he won quite easily. It´sour ninth victory and I´m so happy. I guess we did not expect to go so high.I want to thank you all the guys and HRC, because they have really beenworking hard so far. Now we have 29 points advantage and we are lookingforward to Malaysian race.´.

Angel Nieto - general manager

´A great race! Katoh was so fast and constant that the other riders had nochoice to stay with him. He´ s done a good job and the entire team as well.A big thank you to our sponsors who gave us confidence at the beginning ofthe year.results are coming up!´.

500cc, 2001

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