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Fonsi Nieto pushes his efforts to help Elias as the 250cc battle narrows to a conclusion

Fonsi Nieto pushes his efforts to help Elias as the 250cc battle narrows to a conclusion

Fonsi Nieto pushes his efforts to help Elias as the 250cc battle narrows to a conclusion

Fonsi Nieto has now started a new role in the 250cc World Championship; backing up his teammate and countryman Toni Elias in his late charge for the title. The situation for the rider from Madrid is something of role reversal as Elias acted as the ‘supporting player' when Nieto had a distant shout against Marco Melandri last year. The 50 points left in the game and the 25 that Elias is currently sitting behind leader Poggiali, means that the Catalan retains a mathematical chance of still being World Champion and Nieto, the first of the five riders who were in close contention for the prize to be dropped from the reckoning due to some lacklustre results, has started to follow the wishes and directions of team manager, Jorge Martínez Àspar´. Even though In Sepang he was powerless to prevent Poggiali from closing in the final corner and just managing to snatch second position by a whisper.

Nieto quickly confirmed after the GP the team's race tactics: "I am not really that happy because I wanted to help Toni out there a little bit more today. I was sure that I could have maybe pulled away from Poggiali but that was not the goal, I wanted to slow him up. I was convinced that I could pass him on the last lap and take second, but at the end he took the position by virtually nothing. My front tyre was destroyed and I nearly did not make it to the flag."

"For me this wasn't a bad race. Maybe at the start I could have followed Toni but I knew that I had to slow the pace of the group containing Poggiali behind me. This is what I managed to do, I was even braking a little bit more than normal in the hope that some other riders might catch us up but their speed was too slow, it was impossible to draw us together and Manuel became impatient. It still looks like the team has some chances to win the Championship and now I will do everything to help Toni to do so."

The Spanish team naturally would like to take the chase down to the wire at the last GP of the season in Valencia. Although first they have plenty of work to do this weekend at Phillip Island, scene last year of Melandri's crowning as 250 number one, if they want to prevent the same team indulging in celebrations once more.

Tags:
250cc, 2003, Toni Elias, Pablo Nieto

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