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The generation game restarts in South Africa

The generation game restarts in South Africa

The generation game restarts in South Africa

The 125cc World Championship once again looks like being a colourful collision of experience and youth in 2004, as no fewer than fifteen teenagers look to stake their claim for a glorious Grand Prix career by overcoming the challenge of experienced campaigners in the first race of the season at the Phakisa Freeway in South Africa this weekend. Last season it was the youngsters who won out, with eventual World Champion Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso launching a successful last lap attack on Youichi Ui, who had led for the whole race, to fill the top two steps on the podium.

Ui's decision to stay for one more attempt at the minor category title will see him look to avenge that result on Sunday, whilst the return of experienced former World Champion Roberto Locatelli and the continued presence of seasoned battlers such as Stefano Perugini and Steve Jenkner look sure to be the main stumbling blocks for a host of hungry young title contenders.

The pack is led by the highest ranked rider in the class Hector Barbera and his team-mate Alvaro Bautista. The Aprilia pair have been the men in form during preseason and are looking to secure early success for a team formed just a couple of seasons ago by top Dutch footballer Clarence Seedorf.

Honda's main hope of defending Pedrosa's Welkom honour and his 125cc title appears to lie in the hands of Dovizioso, who will be looking for a repeat of his form from one year ago. Elsewhere, KTM are gunning for glory in just their second season after clinching the signature of Casey Stoner, winner of the final race of 2003 and hugely impressive in the 250cc race here two years ago, whilst Derbi have also opted for youthful promise with Angel Rodriguez - a former pupil of Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar' - returning for a second tilt at Grand Prix glory alongside fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, who won his first race at Rio last season.


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