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Jerez awaits a typically unpredictable 125 battle

Jerez awaits a typically unpredictable 125 battle

Jerez awaits a typically unpredictable 125 battle

The 125 class heads to Jerez this weekend with a clutch of riders looking to make their mark, for varying reasons. The minor class of Grand Prix racing is sure to be the most open once again and it is anybody´s guess as to who will be standing on top of the podium on Sunday afternoon.

Frenchman Arnaud Vincent leads the rider standings after two rounds and travels to Spain aiming to prove that he has the consistency required to sustain a title challenge throughout the European season. He is sure to come under pressure from World Champion Manuel Poggiali, currently in second place and looking to erase the memory of crashing out whilst leading here a year ago, and also local youngster Dani Pedrosa. The 16 year old Spaniard will be roared on by the notoriously partisan crowd as he goes in search of his third consecutive pole position, and his first win of 2002.

The Japanese challenge is sure to be as strong as ever, with Masao Azuma looking to make up for a disappointing start to the year by repeating his victory at this circuit from last season. Youichi Ui, who took pole position here in 2001, before crashing out of the race, is looking to get his season back on track after retiring in Suzuka, and an unfortunate first corner crash in Welkom two weeks ago.

Also involved in that pile-up in South Africa were Lucio Cecchinello and Joan Olive, who both have fond memories of this circuit from last season. The Italian veteran finished on the podium in second place between Azuma and Gino Borsoi, whilst the Spanish teenager picked up his first World Championship points. Olive´s compatriot Angel Rodriguez also picked up his first points that day, clocking up his best finish to date with sixth place in just his third start.

Looking to follow in the Spanish duo´s footsteps this weekend is 14 year old Mallorcan, Jorge Lorenzo. The youngster, who turns 15 on the second day of qualifying, will be given special dispensation to contest the first official practice sessions and is scheduled to make his debut at his home Grand Prix.

125cc, 2002, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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