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Elias out of the title race, but keen to set the record straight in Rio

Elias out of the title race, but keen to set the record straight in Rio

He may have seen his final shreds of hope disappear at Sepang, but Toni Elias is a fighter, and this morning he showed that he means to make up for his inability to take the title, by winning his last race as a 125cc rider. Elias set the fastest time in the first free practice session for the 125 bikes this morning at the Nelson Piquet circuit in Brazil. His time of 2´01.140 was set on his last lap of the morning, after the chequered flag had gone out, a late surge which also saw Max Sabbatani and Manuel Poggiali relegate Stefano Perugini into fourth spot.

Only Elias had showed consistency out of these top four riders, who all set their best times in the closing stages of the session. Masao Azuma and Lucio Cecchinello had shared the lead throughout the majority of the 45 minutes, the two eventually coming home sixth and seventh respectively. Youichi Ui, the only other rider with any chance of robbing Poggiali of the title, making it into fifth place as the chequered flag was waved.

It will certainly be an interesting race this weekend, Ui needing a win but others keen to show their pedigree in the season´s final race. Poggiali may be content with finishing the race and not getting involved in any scrapping for places, but equally may want to assure himself of the title with a win - following in Rossi and Katoh´s footsteps. We now wait to see how they fare this afternoon in the qualifiers.

125cc, 2001

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