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Fonsi Nieto storms to second successive victory
Spanish rider Fonsi Nieto took his second consecutive victory in Le Mans, and stretched his lead at the top of the provisional World Championship standings. Fonsi moved into the lead on lap eleven and maintained his advantage until the final couple of laps when Melandri launched his challenge for victory.The race split wide open in the first third. Stoner, after a good start, crashed out on the tenth lap whilst fifth, and Battaini also hit the tarmac on the same lap when closing in on the leading riders after a bad start. Fonsi and Melandri gradually pulled clear of de Puniet and Locatelli, and behind them Rolfo was left on his own in fifth in no man´s land. Further back still, Elias moved through the field and ended up pipping Alzamora in the battle for sixth, but it was Fonsi who held off Melandri at the front, while de Puniet claimed his second career podium ahead of Locatelli in front of his adoring home fans. Debon in ninth and Checa in tenth completed a Spanish quintet in the top 10. In the provisional standings, Fonsi has a 17 point lead over Rolfo, and is 22 clear of third-placed Alzamora. Melandri has moved into fourth, 24 points behind the Spaniard.
16 years ago