Poggiali takes 125 crown with fifth place in Rio
Manuel Poggiali became the 125cc World Champion 2001 with fifth place at the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix in a race won by Youichi Ui. Poggiali, just 18 years old, battled against wet and windy conditions at the Nelson Piquet circuit and held his nerve as no fewer than nine riders crashed around him. Ui led from pole position although after initially escaping from the field he was caught on the last lap by Simone Sanna and was forced to fight all the way to the line for his sixth win of the season. Ui could hardly hide his disappointment on the podium after breaking his own record for the most wins in a season in the 125 class without ever lifting the World Championship title. Arnaud Vincent came through in third place to record his second podium finish of the year following second in Assen in similar conditions, whilst Elias consolidated third place in the championship with fourth. The Spaniard would have finished fifth if it weren´t for terrible bad luck for his 16 year old team-mate Joan Olive, who was set for his best result of the season until a problem on the last lap saw him lose 40 seconds and drop back from fourth to eleventh.Poggiali moved up one place thanks to Olive´s misfortune but the extra point was purely academic as he took the title by nine points from Ui.
- 125cc, 2001