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Pablo Nieto emerges from the shadow of his father

Pablo Nieto emerges from the shadow of his father

Pablo Nieto emerges from the shadow of his father

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time – especially with the way the last 18 months have gone," reflected Pablo Nieto as he recovered his breath after a phenomenal 125cc race which saw him step on the top of the podium for the first time. "After so many years, the truth is that a victory like this is very special. It has taken a while but it is better late than never – the most important thing now is that things are different from now on."

After 75 Grand Prix appearances without a win, a catch 22 situation was developing for Nieto, who has cracked several times under the pressure of expectation. At Catalunya in front of his home fans he crashed out of the lead with just two laps remaining, whilst on other occasions it has been pure bad luck which has denied the Spaniard glory. Earlier in the season at Jerez he led the way from pole position, only for his gear shifter to break.

Under the constant shadow of his father and multi-World Champion Angel Nieto, Pablo has been the subject of undeserved criticism as he has slowly built his own reputation in the sport, picking up three pole positions and five podiums. The 23 year old was within touching of a maiden victory and when it came, after a hard fought battle with his team-mate Hector Barbera, he soon began to think about the next one.

"When you are out there, you don't really think about whether or not you are going to win – you just concentrate on beating the guy in front of you. Hector brakes so late, and at this circuit it was really difficult to get past him. But now I am already thinking that if I can win one, there is no reason why I can't win another…"

125cc, 2003, Pablo Nieto

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