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Poggiali hanging on to title hopes

Poggiali hanging on to title hopes

Poggiali hanging on to title hopes

Manuel Poggiali says he is not ready to give up his 250cc World Championship crown after a defiant first win of the season in Rio on Sunday.

The San Marino rider lies 67 points behind series leader Dani Pedrosa after returning to the top step of the podium for the first time since the Brazilian round last year, providing a ray of hope in what has been a miserable start to his title defence so far.

"It was a very difficult race - I'm very happy for this result and now I hope to continue in this way," commented Poggiali, who returned Aprilia to the top of the constructors' championship with a five-point advantage over Honda.

"I am not out of the World Championship and, although I know that the gap is quite big to the leaders, anything is possible. Before this race I have not had the possibility to fight for the win, but I have been working very hard with Aprilia, who have been doing their best to get me back into a winning position.

"The only thing I did in the race was just what I did in practice and that was run at a consistent pace.

"I have to say a big thanks to Aprilia. The new exhaust and ignition settings made my bike perfect and work at 100 per cent. I just want to make sure I am challenging at the front now on a regular basis."

250cc, 2004

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