MotoGP » 3 June 2001
Ueda wins rain interrupted 125 race.
At least this time the field made it around the warm-up lap to take the start, and it would be Toni Elias who made the best get-away on the wet track, before being overtaken by Perugini, who took the lead of his home GP on the Italjet.
The order was soon to change with championship leader Azuma up to second, while Ui - on a dryer (intermediate) rear tyre - had slipped back to fourteenth. Meanwhile Sanna and Nieto Jr. also moved past Elias for third and fourth respectively.
Into lap two and Perugini continued to lead confidently on the #7 Italjet, but Sanna, a wet weather expert, was now ahead of Azuma and in pursuit of his countryman. However, Sanna's second place was soon converted into the lead when Perugini fell out of the lead of his home GP on lap three, but coming under pressure from Azuma.
The #4 machine of Azuma swept inside the Italian towards the end of the lap, Sanna setting into a grove behind the Japanese rider, while Cecchinello's MS Aprilia was wheeled away from a gravel trap after the Italian's dismal race day came to an end.
Lap 5 and the lead trio – Azuma, Sanna and Borsoi – had begun to break away from fourth placed Poggiali, while Nobby Ueda was now the fastest man on the track, with Ui back in sixteenth and in desperate need of a dry line.
Into lap 7 and Sanna slipstreamed past Azuma along the start/finish line – but Borsoi, yet to win a Grand Prix, steamed past the pair of them to lead around the first corner on the #23 Aprilia.
Lap 9 and man on the move was Ueda, who moved ahead of Vincent to take fifth and set his sights on Poggiali – who was looking less than comfortable on the #54 Gilera in the slick conditions.
Sure enough, one lap later Ueda – who was getting tremendous traction out of the final corner – sliced past Poggiali and into fourth, the Japanese veteran still the fastest man on the track, and closing rapidly on Azuma.
The #5 TSR machine again used his advantage out of the final corner to put his rivals to shame, sweeping into third by the timing beam, with Poggiali following the blue and white machine past Azuma and into fourth.
Back at the front Borsoi and Sanna continued to be separated by about ten bike lengths, but Ueda was closing fast and Sanna was helpless to stop him stealing second on lap 14 of 20, with more rain falling.
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