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Vincent on form for title push in Rio

Vincent on form for title push in Rio

Vincent on form for title push in Rio

Arnaud Vincent´s fourth victory of the season in Estoril has made him favourite for the 125cc World Championship as the Grand Prix carnival heads to Rio for round twelve this weekend. While the Aprilia rider celebrated in the Portuguese rain last weekend it was doom and gloom in the Gilera camp of World Champion Manuel Poggiali. He went into the race leading the title chase but crashed out of fourth place to leave Vincent with an impressive 23-point advantage going into the race where Poggiali clinched his world title last year.

Another faller in Estoril was Daniel Pedrosa, but the 16-year-old Spaniard remounted the Telefonica Movistar Honda to score six vital points. He kept his championship chances alive and trails Poggiali in second place by just five points. With fourth placed Lucio Cecchinello another 40 points behind the youngster it is now clearly a three way battle for the title, and Pedrosa, who qualified on the front row here in his rookie season last year, will fancy his chances in the 21 lap race on Saturday.

Youichi Ui, who returned to some sort of form in Portugal with only his second front row start of the year, has sweet and sour memories of the Autodromo Nelson Piquet circuit. The Japanese veteran took his fourth consecutive victory here in the final race of last season only to miss out on the title by nine points as Poggiali came home in fifth. Alex de Angelis finished one place behind his compatriot on that occasion, equalling his best result at that time, and will be confident of fighting for his maiden victory this weekend.

125cc, 2002

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