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Elias wins emotional and sensational 250cc GP

Elias wins emotional and sensational 250cc GP

Elias wins emotional and sensational 250cc GP

Toni Elias won his second ever 250cc GP in Jerez today after a thrilling race and quite wonderful performance in front of an adoring Spanish crowd.

The race got off to a very frantic start much in the same way as the 250s younger brothers, the 125s, with the first six riders separated by only a second. Early mistakes by Fonsi Nieto, Franco Battaini and Randy De Puniet saw the order change several times before Manual Poggiali took control and decided to increase the pace. De Puniet followed and Robbie Rolfo shook off the shadow of a hard charging Ant West to form a leading trio.

Elias, nursing a broken thumb, shrank a time deficit of 5 seconds to catch the leaders and kick off an intense scrap for victory as the noise levels around the circuit increased to a crescendo. He passed Rolfo and Poggiali and finally De Puniet on the last corner of the penultimate lap. The quartet proceeded to trip themselves up swapping positions but it was Elias who held strong for a remarkable win and the second successive achievement at the circuit for the Respol Telefonica team .

De Puniet, who made a mistake on the last lap while trying to re-take the lead and dropping to fourth, recovered to third while Rolfo completed a tough race against the Aprilias to gain an impressive second. Winner of the first two GPs of the season and early race leader Poggiali had to settle for fourth a long way in front of Ant West, Seba Porto, Fonsi Nieto, Naoki Matsudo, Alex Debon, Joan Olive.

Poggiali now leads the Championship by 23 points from Rolfo and De Puniet in third.

250cc, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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