Youichi Ui scored his second victory of the 2001 season with a controlled victory at the 125cc British Grand Prix at Donington Park ahead of a manic scrap for second place that wasn't resolved until the final corner.
Youichi Ui led from the front in Sunday's 26-lap 125cc British Grand Prix to record his second victory of the 2001 season and returned to the podium for the first time since South Africa in April. The Derbi rider crossed the line with more than three seconds to spare over battling trio Toni Elias, Manuel Poggiali and Masao Azuma after Noboru Ueda's early race accident exploded the field after a very close start.
Ui moved into fourth place in the Championship with the win and is just 18 points behind Championship leader Poggiali at the half way mark of the 2001 season.
Ui said: ''This was a good result after the last race at Assen. I was under a lot of pressure to get a result here at the halfway stage of the season. Donington is my track, I go well here, I did my absolute best, but so did the team. This is a win for my mechanics as well as me.''
Poggiali eventually finished third after beating Azuma to the line in a drag race following the Japanese rider's mistake at Goddards on the final lap although the San Marino rider was less than pleased with the forceful tactics shown by Elias who made contact with the Gilera rider at the Melbourne Loop on the final lap as he bullied his way towards his third successive podium for the Telefonica Movistar Junior outfit.
Lucio Cecchinello rode bravely with a broken left pinkie to claim fifth position some 17-seconds behind Ui while Simone Sanna just beat Steve Jenkner and Gino Borsoi across the line to take sixth position.
Wildcard rider Casey Stoner was a star in the early going as he threatened to join the leading quartet in their battle for the lead but the young Australian eventually fell back to 17th by the flag whilst every other British wildcard entry retired through one sort of mechanical failure or other.
125cc Top Finishers.
1. Youichi Ui
2. Toni Elias
3. Manuel Poggiali
4. Masao Azuma
5. Lucio Cecchinello
6. Simone Sanna
7. Steve Jenkner
8. Gino Borsoi