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Youichi Ui takes second consecutive win and fourth of season at Phillip Island

Youichi Ui takes second consecutive win and fourth of season at Phillip Island

The Japanese L+M Derbi rider, Youichi Ui, today won his fourth race of the year in the Qantas Australian 125cc Grand Prix in sparkling fashion after pulling out an unbreachable gap midway through the race. A last lap highside from a surging Simone Sanna prevented a classy performance by Angel Rodriguez bearing fruits, as the Spaniard was run off the track, and allowed leading Championship duo Manuel Poggiali and Toni Elias to squeeze through to take the remaining podium positions. Ui became only the second non-Honda rider to win at Phillip Island.

The race started one hour later than normal, but that didn´t affect the concentration of the lead riders, who all got off to a great start, bar Dani Pedrosa. The Spanish youngster saw himself drop down to 18th, almost a reversal of Toni Elias´ fortunes, whose seventeenth position on the grid quickly became second by the end of the first lap. A top group of ten or eleven broke with positions changing from corner to corner. Angel Rodriguez put in a great performance, leading for a time, as did Lucio Cecchinello. However on the 14th lap, Youichi Ui decided that a scrappy race wasn´t in his battle plans and hit the front with the aim of pulling out a lead.

He managed it gradually, and as the gap reached over a second 5 laps later, it was the in-fighting of the chasing pack which prevented him being caught. The last lap was decisive in deciding who would take the runners-up spots, which would be from a pack of six or seven. Sanna, who had languished at the back of the lead group, aimed for the front, but as he highsided out he will surely regret his risk, as will Rodriguez. With those two off the track, Poggiali took up the reins, finally taking second, fighting off a dive for the line by Elias. Azuma, who had ridden a patient race, came in fourth ahead of Cecchinello, De Anglelis and Pedrosa. Highly rated wildcard youngster, Casey Stoner managed a great 12th position.

This makes the Championship race decidedly interesting, Manuel Poggiali now increasing his lead over Toni Elias in second to 16; the San Marino rider with 210 points. In third, Youichi Ui has closed the gap to both of them, and despite having won more races than any other rider this year, is still 28 points behind Poggiali, and 12 from Elias.

125cc, 2001, Qantas Australian Grand Prix, RAC

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