125 Championship takes another twist as Elias crashes out to hand Ui victory in home race
The roller coaster 125cc Championship took another turn today, as Youichi Ui took away the win at his home race in what was eventually quite a comfortable fashion, moreso than had been expected. Behind him came Manuel Poggiali, who now returns to the top of the standings after watching the pre-race leader Toni Elias crash out from second place on the fifth lap. Poggiali is now twelve points clear of the Spaniard with Ui in third, closing the gap to the San Marino rider down to 33 points. Third place today went to Elias´ teammate Pedrosa, who takes his second consecutive podium in the week after his birthday.The race began with Ui on pole for the sixth time the season, and for the first time since his five consecutive poles in the first races of the year. Elias got the holeshot into the first bend, and he, along with Ui and Poggiali stretched out the group behind them. Ui got past Elias on the second lap, and as the Japanese Derbi rider tried to pull away, the young Spaniard tried to stick with him. This proved to be too much for the standings leader at the time, and on the fifth lap, he highsided the bike and cartwheeled into the gravel. Poggiali was able to watch from a safe distance in third, but it was this distance which cost him the race, as it provided Ui with enough of a buffer to pull away from the San Marino rider, who had to contend with the attacks of Elias´ teammate Pedrosa. Elias´ crash was preceded by another crash for Japan´s Nobby Ueda, who crashed down the middle of the track and had Max Sabbatani ride over his bike, leaving debris all over the track. The stewards were quick to the scene to avoid the race being stopped.
Finally, the five-second gap that Ui had pulled out was enough to allow two slower laps at the end, and as he crossed the line he had just a one second advantage over Gilera rider Poggiali. Pedrosa was unable to do Elias any favours by passing Poggiali, despite his best efforts, but moved up one place in the standings into tenth.
- 125cc, 2001