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Haruchika Aoki the only man to have won at Le Mans

Haruchika Aoki the only man to have won at Le Mans

Haruchika Aoki the only man to have won at Le Mans

The 250 race at Le Mans on Sunday is sure to once again be an open contest with any one of a group of top riders capable of stepping on to the top step of the podium. For almost all of them it would be the first time they had achieved such a feat at this legendary circuit, as Haruchika Aoki is the only man in the class to have tasted victory here before, having won the 125cc race in 1995.

`That was seven years ago now and it feels like a very long time,´ smiled the Japanese rider. `I can´t really remember much about the race, just the celebrations on the podium because there was no champagne in the bottle. It is illegal to advertise alcohol in France but they could have used lemonade or something!´

Aoki admits that a repeat of that result is unlikely this weekend, but is optimistic that the evolution Honda is on the right track. `We have made a lot of progress and Honda are very happy with the development. It is frustrating as a racer because just when you think you have the bike set up right you have to introduce new parts, but even so I think this bike can be competitive this year and I am hopeful of fighting for the podium on Sunday.´

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Polini Grand Prix de France

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