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Marco Melandri claims World Championship with Australian win

Marco Melandri claims World Championship with Australian win

Marco Melandri claims World Championship with Australian win

Marco Melandri took the World Champion title in the quarter litre class by winning the penultimate round of the season. The Italian had a 25-laps battle against Fonsi Nieto : both riders swapped positions all race long. In the first half of the race, the Spaniard attempted to overtake Melandri and slow him down to allow Rolfo and Porto to come back, but the Honda and the Yamaha riders weren't able to reduce the gap with the leaders.

With six laps to go, Nieto took the lead but wasn't able to build the gap over Melandri. The Italian was back in first position four laps later, and after a thrilling last lap, Melandri became the youngest 250cc World Champion.

Behind them, Porto managed to demote Rolfo from third in the last lap. Toni Elias lost ground on the leaders after the first couple of laps and had to protect his fifth place from Randy de Puniet until the end of the race.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix

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