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Azuma wins while Ui, Poggiali both crash out.

Poggiali fought back and put himself back into second, with the lead pack now consisting of four riders, with Borsoi having dropped back. Across the start/finish line and Poggiali made the move into the lead, past Ui, with Perugini following, bumping Ui down to third.

Ui's cause was made worse by the fact that Azuma, who had had a quiet few laps in fourth, also moved ahead of the #41 Derbi, with Borsoi still in fifth - but being caught rapidly by Cecchinello.

Lap 16 and Poggiali had to fend off the combined efforts of Azuma and Perugini, particularly across the start/finish line where the pursuing pack were able to slipstream the San Marian in front. Meanwhile Cecchinello was once again the fastest rider on the track, and now right behind Borsoi.

5 laps to go and Poggiali still lead from Perugini, Azuma and Ui all nose to tail at the front - but not for long. Ui made an intelligent move to pass both Azuma and Perugini under braking for the same corner!

However disaster was to strike seconds later when Ui lost the front of his Derbi through a high-speed right-hander, sending the Japanese rider into the gravel, fortunately unharmed.

Meanwhile the battle at the front had become a straight fight between Poggiali and Azuma, with Perugini having dropped off the pace in third.

2 laps to go and Azuma was crawling all over Poggiali, while Perugini had hit problems and been past by both Cecchinello and Borsoi.

Azuma looked to be saving himself for a last lap charge, but was clearly pressuring Poggiali, however the young Gilera pilot looked unlikely to make a mistake and Azuma made his move into the final corner preceding the last lap.

Poggiali gave his all to catch Azuma, who seemed to be pulling away – but he spectacularly high-sided going INTO a fast right-hander, throwing away a well-deserved podium finish, at least.

Poggiali's demise handed second to Cecchinello who completed a fantastic comeback, with Borsoi picking up the final podium place with third.

Full results to follow…

1. Azuma
2. Cecchinello + 4.623secs
3. Borsoi +5.753secs
4. Ueda +10.197secs
5. Nieto Jr +10.384secs
6. Rodriguez +10.604secs
7. de Angelis +10.747secs
8. Sabbatani +15.231secs
9. Hules +15.798secs
10. Pedrosa +19.497secs
11. Vincent +24.705secs
12. Perugini +27.712secs
13. Elias +28.109secs
14. Olive +28.221secs
15. Smrz +28.969secs

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Azuma celebrates victory in his home Grand Prix.
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