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Melandri returns title to familiar territory

Melandri returns title to familiar territory

Melandri returns title to familiar territory

The 250cc title won by Marco Melandri meant the quarter-litre crown returned to familiar territory, with the Aprilia rider the 21st Italian to win the series. Over the last decade the 250cc World Championship has been almost completely dominated by Italian riders.

Luca Cadalora opened the 90s with his first 250cc title in 1991, ending a drought for Italy in the category which had lasted since Mario Lega in 1977. Cadalora made a successful defence of his title in '92, but Tetsuya Harada topped four Italians (Capirossi, Reggiani, Biaggi and Romboni) in the top five in 1993. Biaggi went on to take four titles in succession between 1994 and 1997, with Capirossi takng over the mantle in '98 and Rossi stepping forward in '99.

Frenchman Oliver Jacque in 2000 and Japanese Daijiro Kato last season interrupted the Italian dominance until Melandri took control in 2002. With the 19 year old stepping up to MotoGP to ride a Yamaha M1 alongside Carlos Checa, official Honda rider Roberto Rolfo will be Italy´s great hope in 2003.

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Marco Melandri

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