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Stealthy Jenkner creeps into championship contention

Stealthy Jenkner creeps into championship contention

Stealthy Jenkner creeps into championship contention

It has been a while since German motorcycling fans have had any notable success to cheer about on the World Championship stage. The lack of world titles has meant that German MotoGP followers have had to content themselves with the one-off success stories that their riders produce from time to time. The lastest in this line came from Steve Jenkner in Jerez last Sunday.

Germany has not tasted World Championship success in the 125 class since Dirk Raudies was crowned champion in 1993. After retiring, Raudies became the first real mentor of the self-same Steve Jenkner when he made his debut on the world stage in 1996. Since then, the man that many tipped as Raudies´ natural successor in the category has only shone sporadically. His latest venture into the spotlight came at last weekend´s Gran Premio Marlboro de España where he came home third, taking his first poium of the season.

Now racing for the Italian UGT 3000 Abruzzo set-up, Jenkner has already served notice this term of his renewed ambition. In the rain of Suzuka he fought an intense battle with Czech rider Jaroslav Hules, and led the race in the early stages before bad fortune in the shape of a puncture forced him down the field, eventually finishing 15th. After a solid fourth place finish in Welkom, the 25 year-old, took advantage of other riders´ falls in Jerez to sneak onto the podium at the death, the third time in his career. The two previous occasions, both third places a well, came last year when he climbed the steps in both Assen and Brno. The German has now crept almost unnoticed into fifth place in the championship table with 30 points, and in doing so continues to raise the hopes of German fans.

125cc, 2002

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