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Toni Elias converts his pole position into a dominant race win in Japan

Toni Elias converts his pole position into a dominant race win in Japan

Toni Elias converts his pole position into a dominant race win in Japan

Toni Elias streaked to his fourth victory of the season to bury his Rio nightmare from two weeks ago.

The young Spaniard, who crashed out of the lead on the last lap in Brazil, showed no flaws today as he got a great start from pole position and built up a comfortable lead. The battle for the remaining podium positions raged behind, with Sebastian Porto high-siding out of an epic tussle with Roby Rolfo and Manuel Poggiali just five laps from the end. Poggiali took control and looked on course for second place until an impeccable finish from Rolfo, who overtook Poggiali and then set his fastest lap of the race with the chequered flag in sight to seal second place.

Wildcard riders Hiroshi Aoyama and Yuki Takahashi provided an entertaining battle for fourth, with Takahashi avenging his last lap defeat to Aoyama for second place at Suzuka earlier this season with a similarly timed manoeuvre. Randy de Puniet could not add to his haul of podiums but brushed aside a painful heel to cross the line sixth ahead of Naoki Matsudo, Fonsi Nieto was a lowly eighth in front of countryman Alex Debon.

Elias has now recovered some ground in the Championship chase but still lies third behind leader Poggiali (by 30 points) and Rolfo in second (12 points). De Puniet is fourth, trailing Elias by four points while Nieto has slumped to fifth and is all but out of the reckoning, 55 points away from Poggiali.

Tags:
250cc, 2003

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