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250cc down-to-the-wire title chases

250cc down-to-the-wire title chases

250cc down-to-the-wire title chases

Following Andrea Dovizioso's victory in Portugal, the 250cc title goes to the final race of the year with Jorge Lorenzo having just a thirteen point advantage, and in tribute to this, motogp.com presents some of the tightest quarter litre championships of all time.

Since the scoring system was changed in 1977 to having all races counting towards the championship, there have been eleven other occasions that the 250cc title has been decided at the final race of the year:

1978 – Kork Ballington went into the final race of the year at the Rijeka circuit in the former Yugoslavia leading team-mate Greg Hansford by eleven points. Hansford won the race but Ballington finished third to take the title.

1982 – Jean-Louis Tournadre, who had only taken one victory all year but had scored points at every race, was leading the Championship by eight points going into the final race from Toni Mang who had already had four wins. Mang won the final race at Hockenheim but Tournadre finished fourth to take the title by a single point.

1988 – Sito Pons was leading his fellow Spanish rider Juan Garriga by six points going into the final race of the year in Brazil. Pons coasted to a comfortable third place in the race after Garriga had run off the track on lap two and could only work his way back up to fifth place by the end of the race.

1990 – Carlos Cardus went to the final race of the year at Phillip Island leading John Kocinski by five points. Kocinski won the race and the title while Cardus was forced to retire two laps from the end with a broken gear lever.

1993 – Loris Capirossi was leading Tetsuya Harada by ten points going into the final race of the year at Jarama. Harada won the race and the title with Capirossi finishing in fifth place suffering from tyre problems.

The 1990 and 1993 Championships are the only two occasions listed here that the rider going into the final race leading the 250cc Championship classification has failed to take the title.

1994 – Max Biaggi was leading Tady Okada by eight points going into the last GP of the year at Catalunya. Biaggi won a close race and the title, with Okada finishing in fourth place.

1996 – Max Biaggi went to the final race of the year at Eastern Creek, Australia leading Ralf Waldmann by a single point. The two riders battled it out in the early part of the race before Biaggi pulled away to take the race win and the title.

1997 – The same two protagonists as the previous year together with Tetsuya Harada, all went to the final race with a chance of the title, with Biaggi leading Harada by six points and Waldmann one point further adrift. Waldmann did all he could and won the race at Phillip Island, with Biaggi following him home in second place to take the title by just two points. Harada finished back in fifth place suffering with injuries from a crash during qualifying.

1998 – As in 1993, Loris Capirossi was leading Tetsuya Harada going into the final race of the year in Argentina, this time by the slender margin of four points, with Valentino Rossi a further 14 points further back still having an outside chance of taking the title. Rossi won the race and a last lap collision between Capirossi and Harada resulted in a non-finish for Harada, with Capirossi taking the title.

2000 – Olivier Jacque and Yamaha team-mate Shinya Nakano went to the final race of the year separated by just two points, with Jacque having the slight advantage. Daijiro Kato was also in with an outside chance of taking the title, eleven points behind Jacque. The fight for the Championship went right down to the last corner of the last lap at Phillip Island, with Jacque finally taking the race victory by just 0.014 sec from Nakano, and with it the title.

2003 – Manuel Poggiali arrived at the final race of the year with a seven point advantage over Roberto Rolfo. Rolfo was never in the hunt and Poggiali cruised to a comfortable third place finish to become 250cc world champion in his first season in the class.

Tags:
250cc, 2006, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA

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