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Poggiali wins and watches Elias crash on last lap

Poggiali wins and watches Elias crash on last lap

Poggiali wins and watches Elias crash on last lap

Manuel Poggiali experienced a perfect GP this afternoon when he took his fourth chequered flag of the season and saw Championship rival Toni Elias slide into the gravel with barely three corners to negotiate until the finish.

The 250cc event had been a close cat-and-mouse contest between the Aprilia duo after they had broken away from their pursuers. Elias made an aggressive move to steal the lead halfway into the distance that almost forced Poggiali onto the grass. The rider from San Marino lost several seconds but slowly chipped away at the gap until his was on the back wheel of his rival to set up an interesting last lap encounter. The telling moment arrived at the end of the long straight when Elias, under pressure, ran into the next turn too fast and lost the front end barely 10 seconds away from a guaranteed podium. Poggiali accepted the win and 25 points with glee.

Around 12 seconds behind the drama, Roby Rolfo and Randy De Puniet had been taking part in an identical duel, in which the Honda man eventually triumphed and was elevated to the second step thanks to Elias' error.

Sylvain Guintoli was fourth ahead of Naoki Matsudo. Sebas Porto crashed out in the formative stages of the race while Fonsi Nieto was forced to pull into the pits with a mechanical problem.

Poggiali now has a margin of 22 points over Rolfo, 28 over De Puniet and stands 39 ahead of the unfortunate Elias.

250cc, 2003

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