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Aprilia pack hunt down Pedrosa

Aprilia pack hunt down Pedrosa

Aprilia pack hunt down Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa returns from his summer holidays to the most significant points advantage of the three classes after making the best start to a rookie season in the recent history of the 250cc World Championship. With four victories and four second places the Honda youngster clocked up an average of 20 points per race over the opening nine rounds, his total of 180 leaving him some 34 clear of nearest chaser Randy De Puniet.

However, De Puniet arrives in the Czech Republic this week as the only rider in the class to have won on a 250cc machine at Brno and he will be desperate to repeat his victory from last season.

The Frenchman has been through a miserable run of form, missing out on the podium at three straight races before clinching third at Donington, where he failed to qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time this season.

However, De Puniet returns fresh from his holidays at the head of an army of riders looking seal Aprilia's 100th victory in the quarter-litre class and bring an end to Pedrosa's dominance at the front of the field.

Amongst them are Sebastian Porto, who took second at Brno in 2002 to record his best result in Grand Prix racing at that time, Fonsi Nieto – the only man other than De Puniet to have scored points at each round so far – and Alex De Angelis, who started from pole for the first time in the 250 class at Donington and has started from pole at Brno for the last two years in the 125 class.

Also defending a strong record at Brno for Aprilia, who have won eight of the last ten 250 races there, is reigning World Champion Manuel Poggiali, who finished third last year after qualifying on pole - the last time he started from the front of the grid.

Meanwhile, Roby Rolfo is set for a return to action after dislocating his shoulder at Donington Park and will join Dani Pedrosa in the quest to score Honda's first 250 win at Brno since Max Biaggi in 1997.

Also hopeful of success on the Japanese factory machinery are Hiroshi Aoyama, who is targeting his first podium of the season after an impressive start to his rookie campaign, and Toni Elías – twice a podium finisher at this track in the 250 class and winner of the 125cc race in 2001.


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