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Daijiro typically dominating in Malaysia and is crowned 250cc World Champion

Daijiro typically dominating in Malaysia and is crowned 250cc World Champion

Daijiro Katoh was this afternoon proclaimed World 250cc Champion after winning in characteristically dominating fashion and putting himself out of reach of his only title rival, Tetsuya Harada. The Telefonica Movistar Honda racer rode in a manner that epitomised his form throughout the entire season, leading from the front and opening up an unbreachable gap to second place, eventually coming home victorious with 14 seconds to spare. Harada resigned himself to claiming second place, both in the race and in the title but seemed happy nonetheless with his faultless performance.

With the win Katoh notched his tenth of the season, equalling a record for wins in a season set by Mike Hailwood and Anton Mang. He now is just three points off the 300 barrier, which he will be able to try and cross without the worry of having to defend his position for any reason. Harada may feel slightly aggrieved by the fact that this marked his 13th podium of the season, and he will only be walking away with the runners-up trophy, but he could not argue that Katoh has been head and shoulders above the rest.

Fonsi Nieto picked up valuable points by finishing as the other rider on the podium. He now joins in the battle for third place with Marco Melandri and Roberto Rolfo, the latter crashing out but staging a remarkable comeback to pass an injured Melandri on the last lap and finish 10th. There were also crashes for Emilio Alzamora, who went out whilst in third place, and Shahrol Yuzy, who had made a great start and fell while in fifth.

The day belonged to Daijiro Katoh however, who can now add the World title to his impressive CV of Japanese National Championships.

250cc, 2001, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, RAC

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