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Poggiali defies De Puniet ´shadow´ to make it two in a row

Poggiali defies De Puniet ´shadow´ to make it two in a row

Poggiali defies De Puniet ´shadow´ to make it two in a row

Manuel Poggiali used the superior speed of his factory Aprilia to gain his second successive 250cc GP victory in South Africa today.

The former 125cc World Champion and winner on his debut in Suzuka several weeks ago, overtook pole position holder Randy De Puniet in the opening laps and proceeded to chase an empty circuit and withstood the race long pressure from the Frenchman who was determined to notch his first ever GP win.

Like the 125 race 40 minutes before, the last lap was going to be vital and Poggiali had the horsepower to just stay ahead of his Aprilia rival and defended the tight racing line on a circuit that is difficult for overtaking. De Puniet made one last ditch attempt two-thirds of the way to the flag but ran slightly wide and lost the back of the leader from San Marino.

Franco Battaini rode to a solid but lonely third. Seba Porto, Roberto Rolfo, Antony West, Fonsi Nieto and Toni Elias completed the top eight.

Alex Debon retired after the first lap after his bike stalled on the grid and incurred a jump-start penalty when he resorted to push-starting his machine.

Tags:
250cc, 2003, Arnette Africa's Grand Prix

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