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Fonsi concedes title and looks towards a fresh assault in 2003

Fonsi concedes title and looks towards a fresh assault in 2003

Fonsi concedes title and looks towards a fresh assault in 2003

Fonsi Nieto raised Spanish hopes of a first 250cc World Champion for 13 years with an electrifying start to the 2002 season. The 24 year old from Madrid took five podiums from the first six races, including two victories, and looked set for a season-long head to head with his great rival Marco Melandri. However, an historic six race winning streak for the Italian in the middle part of the season effectively killed off the Spaniard´s hopes and, with three races remaining and a 52 point disadvantage to overcome, he accepts that the quarter-litre crown is out of his reach, at least for now.

`The championship is practically impossible for me now, I am not even thinking about it any more,´ revealed Nieto, who must take three points from Melandri this weekend to have any mathematical chance. `I have had some problems with the bike recently so I am just concentrating on sorting them out, winning the next three races and making a positive end to what has been a good season for me. I am second in my first year on an official bike and that is not bad going. I am not completely happy because I know I had a shot at the title, but I am satisfied.´

Nieto has been overshadowed in recent weeks by the performances of his young team-mate Toni Elias, and he is already looking forward to a battle for the title with his compatriot next season. `I have not signed yet but everything is agreed with the same sponsors and team to ride with a factory Aprilia next season. If Toni signs too then it could be a great year for the team and I´m sure it would be close between us.´

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Gauloises Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix

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