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Melandri looking for Sachsenring repeat

Melandri looking for Sachsenring repeat

Melandri looking for Sachsenring repeat

Marco Melandri arrives in Germany in great spirits and it is no wonder why. The Aprilia rider has taken four straight wins and last year secured his first ever 250cc Grand Prix victory at the Sachsenring. He leads Spaniard Fonsi Nieto by 13 points in the World Championship standings and would like to increase the gap before taking a well-deserved rest. The Italian has also won once here and taken two poles in the 125 class.

Nieto relinquished his points advantage in round seven at Assen and was unable to regain control at Donington despite pushing Melandri all the way to the final corner. The Spanish rider, who finished sixth in the 250 race here last year, must now pull something special out of the bag if he is to stop Melandri from heading on his holidays with a comfortable advantage.

The rider who may cause both Melandri and Nieto problems in the 29-lap race on Sunday could be Toni Elias. The Spaniard built on second place at Assen with a sensational recovery from a bad start at Donington to take a second consecutive podium. The 19-year-old, who finished second in the 125cc race here last year, is now looking for his first win in the quarter-litre class and will not be fazed by the superior experience of his peers.

This weekend holds special significance for several other riders in the 250 class. Franco Battaini is hoping to celebrate his 30th birthday with a first podium since the second race of the season at Welkom, whilst Roby Rolfo is looking to consolidate third place in the championship and maintain his record as the only rider in the class to have scored top ten finishes at each round of the 2002 season. Sebastian Porto will this week make his 100th start in 250 whilst Randy de Puniet will be boosted by the memory of his best race of 2001 when he finished fifth here a year ago.

250cc, 2002, Cinzano Motorrad GP Deutschland, Marco Melandri

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