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Poggiali succesfully signals his intent to challenge for the Championship

Poggiali succesfully signals his intent to challenge for the Championship

Poggiali succesfully signals his intent to challenge for the Championship

Manuel Poggiali was quite simply spectacular last weekend after blasting from 23rd place on the grid to stand on top of the podium. The Aprilia rider was 13th at the end of the first lap and cut through the field to head the race in the latter stages; holding the advantage and stretching his lead until the flag. The victory marked his debut in the 250 class, something very few riders have achieved in the history of the Championship.

The rider from San Marino showed enormous motivation to produce the goods over a difficult weekend littered with adverse weather conditions. In the timed sessions on Saturday he had a tough time with the tricky damp Japanese track and was actually not classified at one point. Making the grid by the skin of his teeth in 23rd after a brave lap in the wet, the best was yet to come.

´Before the start I was very aware of my handicap and I still won the race today so I must thank Aprilia as my bike was very fast. It's easy to ride when you can pass the others in the straight without any effort. For sure I did my best also because in the first laps I set a good pace. We only had the warm up session to test the bike in the dry but we made progress in finding a setting for the race. In 125 class the races are more hard fought but in the 250s the track becomes more dangerous as the rear end bounces and it's not easy to keep control. I want to dedicate this success to everybody. The Aprilia staff is very professional and they did not put any pressure on me. I cannot make a comparison with a victory in 125 class because it's impossible to forget the emotions of the first podium.´

In addition to the 25 points earned for his efforts, Poggiali also announced himself as a serious contender for the title and proved that his pre-season potenticial is equally as valid in a competitive environment.

Tags:
250cc, 2003, SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan

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