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A familiar challenge on new territory

A familiar challenge on new territory

A familiar challenge on new territory

The 250cc World Championship riders arrive in Qatar this weekend for their first appearance at the Losail International Circuit with a familiar challenge at hand – halting Daniel Pedrosa's charge to the title. Despite the unfamiliarity of the surroundings, Pedrosa also finds himself in a common situation this weekend.

The Spaniard has tackled each of the twelve circuits so far this season for the first time on a 250cc machine and has excelled at almost all of them, picking up ten podiums including five victories to open up an advantage of 47 points over Randy de Puniet at the top of the championship. Further victories in the next two races would secure the title for Pedrosa in Malaysia, where he was already crowned 125cc World Champion just one year ago.

De Puniet's quest to chase Pedrosa at the top of the standings has now become a challenge to defend the runner-up spot from Sebastian Porto. Eleventh place for the Frenchman after crashing at Motegi, coupled with fourth place for Porto, means that the pair are separated by just one point with a 44-point gap to Toni Elías in fourth place.

Elías will again be out to ruffle the feathers of the top three in the championship after finally hitting form on the Honda. The Spaniard has a bone to pick with his compatriot Pedrosa after losing out in Motegi due to what he claimed was a weight disadvantage under acceleration, and he will be keen to demonstrate his riding prowess at a circuit which features only one long straight.

Slightly further down the field Alex de Angelis is coming under pressure for fifth in the championship from Hiroshi Aoyama, who scored his first podium of the season at Motegi, whilst Ant West will be looking to bounce back from his crash in Japan to continue his quest to win the ‘Best Privateer' trophy, which he was denied last season by Franco Battaini.

Tags:
250cc, 2004, MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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