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Time for challengers to react to Poggiali dominance

Time for challengers to react to Poggiali dominance

Time for challengers to react to Poggiali dominance

Manuel Poggiali claimed after his dominant victory at Mugello that he felt like a football team fighting for league survival who found themselves surprisingly leading the championship, but the evidence suggests that the 20 year old from San Marino is now a serious favourite for the quarter-litre title. Three wins from five races in his rookie 250 season is a record which speaks for itself, and the former 125cc World Champion must now recognise that he is riding for another crown. His record at the Circuit de Catalunya is strong, having taken victory here in the 125 class on the Gilera last year, and he will be difficult to beat at a circuit which, with its flowing corners and long straight, is not too dissimilar to Mugello, where he was so dominant last Sunday.

A double crash for Randy De Puniet and a lowly sixth place for Toni Elias in Italy mean that the consistent Roberto Rolfo is now second in the championship, 19 points behind Poggiali, despite never having won a race. De Puniet has put his crash down to a technical fault whilst Elias was mystified by set-up problems over the course of the weekend and both will be determined to recover dropped points on Sunday. It is a particularly big weekend for Elias, who is the only man to have beaten Poggiali this season and will be desperate to do so again in front of his home crowd.

Tags:
250cc, 2003, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya

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