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Melandri out to consolidate points advantage at second home

Melandri out to consolidate points advantage at second home

Melandri out to consolidate points advantage at second home

London-based Italian Marco Melandri heads for his adopted home country this weekend hoping to consolidate a well-earned points advantage in the 250cc World Championship. The MS Aprilia rider, who took over the lead in the series with his third successive victory in the last race at Assen, is now looking towards win number five for the season as he attempts to stretch his lead over Spanish rival Fonsi Nieto, who he leads by ten points.

Despite Melandri´s current consistency, Nieto can take heart from his erratic track record and the fact that the Italian has only managed to finish on the podium at Donington on one occasion from four attempts in the 125 and 250 classes. Nieto will also be determined to make up for a disappointing fifth place finish at Assen - the first time that he has failed to make the podium since the opening race in Japan back in April.

Italian Roberto Rolfo is still looking for his first win in the quarter-litre class aboard the Fortuna Honda Gresini machine but it is looking increasingly like a mere question of time. He lies third in the championship but is now only six points behind Nieto after finishing second and third in the last two races respectively. Rolfo finished second at Donington last year, a result which remains his best ever finish in Grand Prix. Rolfo, who scored the fastest race lap at Assen, is the only 250 rider to have finished in the top ten in every round of the 2002 season.

Toni Elias, team-mate to Nieto in the Telefonica Movistar-Repsol Aprilia team, will be full of confidence after finishing second at Assen. The 19 year old´s first top three finish in the class also made him the youngest ever Spanish rider to finish on the 250 podium. Elias took second in the 125cc race at Donington last year after starting from pole position for the first time in his career.

250cc, 2002, Cinzano British Grand Prix, Marco Melandri

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