Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Poggiali grits his teeth for the final push

Poggiali grits his teeth for the final push

Poggiali grits his teeth for the final push

The 125 class is the most open category in the World Championship and the riders involved in the title battle know that, with just four races remaining, there is no margin for error. Reigning World Champion Manuel Poggiali travels to Japan today in readiness for the first of three flyaway races in succession and, as he explained, he is as determined as ever to retain his title despite losing ground to Arnaud Vincent in recent weeks.

`I am not feeling negative, not at all´, he remarks. `In Rio I did everything I could to win, but it was impossible. Vincent is obviously very fast in the wet – I just hope it doesn´t rain again over the next few rounds.´ After two wet races in Portugal and Rio, Vincent has taken the series lead and stretched out an impressive 27 point advantage over Poggiali.

`I have to make some ground up over the next couple of races and make sure I finish ahead of Vincent,´ continues the San Marino rider. `I can´t really say which tracks I think I can beat him at – hopefully it is the next one but you never know what will happen if it is wet or the track is slippery. In Rio I was fastest in qualifying and we had great weather, but then the clouds opened on race day and it was a completely different story. ´

Poggiali is careful not to shout too loudly about his title chances, but is aware that each race will be as crucial as the next over the coming weeks. `In the next three races outside Europe a lot will be decided, but there is one more when we return and I will still be trying my best come Valencia. Every race is hugely important´.

125cc, 2002

Other updates you may be interested in ›