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Dovizioso in the ascendancy

Dovizioso in the ascendancy

Dovizioso in the ascendancy

The chase for Daniel Pedrosa's vacant 125cc World Championship crown continues this weekend with his factory Honda successor Andrea Dovizioso still in the ascendancy after backing up his opening round victory with a solid result in the wet at Jerez. Fourth place was enough for Dovizioso to extend his advantage to ten points over Roberto Locatelli and Steve Jenkner, who are currently tied in the runner-up position, and the Italian looks like a good bet to continue his charge at a circuit where he holds a strong past record.

Dovizioso scored the first pole position of his career at Le Mans last season and, with Youichi Ui the only man in the class to have previously won here, his third place finish in the race behind departed World Champion Pedrosa and retired veteran Lucio Cecchinello presents a formidable challenge to the rest of the field.

Casey Stoner lies fourth in the championship after missing the chance to take over at the top when he crashed out of a clear lead in the Spanish rain but he can also call on a decent record at Le Mans. The Australian finished in fourth place here last season behind Dovizioso and will be desperate to challenge the Italian again as his relationship with the KTM factory continues to blossom.

Stoner's crash at Jerez two weeks ago handed victory to Marco Simoncelli, who became the fourteenth rider to climb to the top of the podium in a record run of races without a back-to-back winner in the class which now stands at 25. The Italian teenager will this weekend bid to become the first rider in the class to score consecutive victories since Arnaud Vincent, who won at Donington and Sachsenring during his championship-winning 2002 campaign.

125cc, 2004, GRAND PRIX POLINI DE FRANCE, Andrea Dovizioso

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