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Poggiali building up steam as 125 freight train heads for Assen

Poggiali building up steam as 125 freight train heads for Assen

Poggiali building up steam as 125 freight train heads for Assen

The 125 freight train heads for Holland this weekend, with defending World Champion Manuel Poggiali looking to maintain a head of steam which has seen him open up a 21 point gap at the top of the rider standings. Back to back victories coupled with a dismal run of form for Arnaud Vincent have seen the Frenchman lose ground in the title chase, with Spanish youngster Dani Pedrosa hot on his heels in third place and, on current form, looking the most likely challenger.

Gilera rider Poggiali defeated Pedrosa in the last race at Barcelona with a classy last corner manoeuvre which left the Honda rider still in search of his first win. However, at just 16 years of age Pedrosa has shown great promise and can take inspiration from a debut victory in this class last season for his then team-mate and great friend Toni Elias. After his highest career finish in his home race, Pedrosa is preparing for the Dutch TT full of confidence and with nothing to lose as he gives chase to fellow teenager Poggiali over the critical mid-section of the season.

Hanging on to the coat-tails of the championship chase is veteran Italian Lucio Cecchinello. The Aprilia rider represents the factory´s best hope of honours in the minor class of Grand Prix racing, although after two straight victories earlier in the season, he has now gone two races without a podium and will need to improve on that statistic at Assen if he is to keep pace with the breakaway youngsters.

Tags:
125cc, 2002, Gauloises Dutch TT

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