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Ui wins again in style, but Poggiali second means Elias is out of title race

Ui wins again in style, but Poggiali second means Elias is out of title race

Youichi Ui extended his winning streak to three races and in doing so kept his title hopes alive by a thread, after he ruled supreme in the 125cc race at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Starting from second place on the grid, Ui took the lead at the end of the first lap, and after that there was no looking back for the L+M Derbi rider, who took it upon himself to open up a massive lead halfway through the race, and let the rest battle it out for the other positions.

His eventual winning margin was 2 seconds, but it had been as much as seven seconds with just four laps to go. He relaxed his way through the final few circuits to assure his victory, and moved himself into a position to be able win the Championship in the last race at Rio in two weeks time. That is still a very remote possibility for the Japanese rider given the 23 points he is now short of Manuel Poggiali. It means that only a win will do in Brazil, and he must then hope that Poggiali finishes 13th or lower. The San Marino rider had a superb race today, having started from eighth on the grid, being thirteenth after the first lap and then clawing his way through the field to eventually snatch second place.

The 125 crown is virtually in his grasp now after that performance, Toni Elias slipping out of title contention with a rare poor race, the first he has completed and been off the podium since Mugello. He came home in sixth place to collect just ten points, meaning there is now an insurmountable 26-point gap between himself and the Gilera of Poggiali. Finishing in the last podium spot where Elias desperately needed to be was Italian Lucio Cecchinello, the Aprilia rider clearly delighted with his race. Elias´ team-mate Pedrosa was fourth, demonstrating that team orders can not have come into force, with Gino Borsoi discovering his early season form to come in fifth.

Poggiali practically just needs to finish the race in Brazil safely to guarantee himself of the title, whereby Ui knows that only first place will do. The title will go to either the Gilera or the Derbi team who share a garage and both come under the Piaggio manufacturing umbrella.

125cc, 2001, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, RAC

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