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Poggiali aims to defend title

Poggiali aims to defend title

Poggiali aims to defend title

Manuel Poggiali´s victory means the 125cc Championship will go down to the wire, in Valencia, as the Ricardo Tormo track will host the last round of the 2002 season. In Phillip Island, Poggiali clinched his fourth win of the season, and proved his will to defend his title until the very end of the season.

Poggiali hadn´t topped the podium since the Marlboro Grand Prix of Catalunya, held in July. Since then, his main rival, Arnaud Vincent, scored four wins, and the consistent Frenchman appeared to be the man to beat in the class. At the same time, the Gilera rider had good results (four podium finishes, with two second places and two third places), but also disappointing performances, like in Estoril, where he failed to score as he crashed out.

However, the youngster from San Marino remained upbeat. Before leaving Europe for the flyaway races, Vincent had a 27 points lead over him, but at this time, he insisted to he was ready to challenge the Frenchman : ´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´.

There´s only one race remaining and Daniel Pedrosa is out of contention for the title and Poggiali is now 8 points behind Vincent. The Frenchman obviously has the upper hand ; he leads the Championship, has more experience and the final result depends on him, but Poggiali is the reigning World Champion. Last year, the title was also determined in the last race, in Brazil, and he didn´t flinch. In Valencia, he will give it all once more.

125cc, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix

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