Perugini starting to hit peak form at the right time
The 125cc 2003 World Championship has been a typically open affair with a number of riders and first-time youngsters grappling for the spotlight throughout the nine Grand Prix held so far. Teenagers such as Hector Barbera, Casey Stoner, Thomas Luthi, Andrea Dovizioso and Alex de Angelis have all enjoyed their moments of glory alongside the slightly more seasoned campaigners like Dani Pedrosa, Lucio Cecchinello and Steve Jenkner.
Perhaps then it is not too surprising that Stefano Perugini has also added his name to the roster.
The 28 year old Italian surprised the establishment with a thrilling victory at the opening race in Suzuka and then followed his first GP win since 1996 with a resounding DNF at the following race in South Africa; as if to kick-off the theme of inconsistency that has blighted most of the contenders in the ´03 campaign aside from Pedrosa.
After the South African ´0´ Perguini has quietly been scoring points watching a gaggle of different riders climb the podium. Up until his pole position and return to the top three with third place at Donington Park he accumulated results of 5th, 7th, 7th, 5th, 5th. The haul of results has seen him slowly rise the Championship standings while Cecchinello and Jenkner have gone off the boil, culminating in his second victory on Sunday and launching him right behind leader Pedrosa in the table and trailing by only 20 points in the chase for the grand prize.
The MotoGP circus now disperses for three weeks and Perugini is certainly the in-form rider; book-ending the first half of the year in the best way possible.