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Honda and Aprilia go head-to-head at Sachsenring

Honda and Aprilia go head-to-head at Sachsenring

Honda and Aprilia go head-to-head at Sachsenring

Manuel Poggiali gave Aprilia their 99th victory in the 250cc class at Rio last week and the chances of the Italian factory making that a century at the Veltins Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland look strong, Aprilia riders having won four out of the past six races at Sachsenring whilst main Honda hope Dani Pedrosa has failed to score a podium there in three attempts in the 125cc class.

However, quarter-litre rookie Pedrosa is flying high on confidence after wrestling the championship lead back from top Aprilia rider Randy De Puniet and will be backed up by factory colleagues eager to taste the winner's champagne for the first time this season.

Roberto Rolfo scored the Japanese factory's only victory there last year with his maiden Grand Prix triumph. The Italian rider also scored a podium at Sachsenring in 2002 after starting from pole position for the first time in his career, when he was denied victory in a rain-hit race which was red-flagged just moments after the race leader and eventual winner Marco Melandri had crashed out.

Rolfo's team-mate Toni Elias will be desperate to prevent Aprilia from reaching their century of wins despite being one of their main contributors with six victories. The Spaniard moved from Aprilia to Honda in the winter and is ready to return to the top step with the Japanese factory after scoring four podiums from the last five races.

Back at Aprilia Sebastian Porto knows only a victory will do after losing vital ground in the championship chase due to a mechanical problem in Rio. The Argentinean rider, who started from pole last year in Germany and scored his first ever podium there on his 100th start in 2002, left Brazil empty handed and now lies third in the championship, some 42 points behind series leader Pedrosa.


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