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Poggiali taking the long route to title success

Poggiali taking the long route to title success

Poggiali taking the long route to title success

The Aprilia bosses must have been rubbing their hands after the first two races of the season. Debutant Manuel Poggiali had jumped on the 250 machine that had taken Marco Melandri to a fairly comprehensive title campaign in 2002 and now the former 125cc World Champ had made light work of his first GPs and subsequent victories in the quarter-litre category.

Since then the classification has opened and invited five other riders to climb on the top step. Poggiali added another victory (Italy) but his scorecard was blighted by a reckless move on Seba Porto in France that took both riders out of action and also a DNF at Catalunya.

The youngster from San Marino still leads the series after nine races but will not be too happy with his topsy turvy form in the middle of the season. At the Sachsenring another error led to perhaps the top contender for ´slowest crash of the year´ award. He didn't even make it to the gravel trap after running wide on the first corner starting lap 15, slipping off on the grass but remounting quickly. Poggiali lost his sixth position and then tried to overhaul Toni Elias on the final lap to claim seventh but eventually had to settle for eighth as Fonsi Nieto and Roby Rolfo cut into his points advantage even further by finishing on the podium. Here is the factory Aprilia man's thoughts after last Sunday.

´I made many mistakes. My start was bad and then I did all I could with a rear tyre that was completely unpredictable. The heat meant that the temperature of the asphalt had changed quite a lot and we decided to use a tyre that we had not tested in the practice. Then in the race, I was too determined and went wide falling off on the grass. At the end Elias passed me easily because I made a mistake: this is a race to forget. Now I need an holiday to think about my mistakes and my position.´

Tags:
250cc, 2003

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