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Arnaud Vincent maintains his competitive edge before an electrifying final

Arnaud Vincent maintains his competitive edge before an electrifying final

Arnaud Vincent maintains his competitive edge before an electrifying final

In Rio, Arnaud Vincent managed to increase further his lead over his main rival in the battle for the title, reigning number one Manuel Poggiali. A fortnight after his win at a rain-soaked Estoril, the Frenchman clinched another podium finish, behind a surprising Masao Azuma and ahead of the Gilera rider.

After a good start from the first row, Vincent was quick to take the lead. On lap 5, Poggiali was right behind him - then, the two main contenders for the title remained together until the finish. ´Every time Poggiali went in front of me, he would eventually try to slow down the pace in order to allow the others to catch us and get between us´ explains Vincent. ´He was partly successful as Azuma eventually surprised the two of us. However, I wasn´t really surprised by Azuma´s lap times : we weren´t pushing very hard while he had a tyre advantage. The most important is that I managed to beat Poggiali and score more points´.

Indeed, Vincent overtook Poggiali in the last lap and scored four points more than his rival. However, there are four races to go and the Aprilia rider remains cautious about his chances. ´I have a 27 points lead, it can seem to be a lot, but not that much too. Anything can happen : a crash, a mechanical failure, it can strike anyone. What I know is that I have a better position than Poggiali, and I must keep this advantage´.

The next couple of fly-away races may prove decisive in the title chase : there will only be a week between each one of the next three races (Motegi, Sepang and Phillip Island). Vincent is well-aware of the importance theses races. ´The most important thing should be to be fully fit. I do my best in terms of physical preparation, to be at the top for the late stages of the season. I will have to be as consistent as I´ve been lately and I´ll do my best´.

Tags:
125cc, 2002

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