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May 19, 2002

Le Mans 250cc Grand Prix Goes To Fonsi Nieto

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Le Mans 250cc Grand Prix Results:<BR><BR>1. Fonsi Nieto, Aprilia, 26 laps, 43:41.140<BR>2. Marco Melandri, Aprilia, -0.252<BR>3. Randy De Puniet, Aprilia, -6.431<BR>4. Roberto Locatelli, Aprilia, -6.604<BR>5. Roberto Rolfo, Honda, -11.527<BR>6. Toni Elais, Aprilia, -13.157<BR>7. Emilio Alzamora, Honda, -13.870<BR>8. Sebastian Porto, Yamaha, -20.077<BR>9. Alex Debon, Aprilia, -28.557<BR>10. David Checa, Aprilia, -28.684<BR>11. Naoki Matsudo, Yamaha, -28.892<BR>12. Taro Sekiguchi, Yamaha, -35.148<BR>13. Shahrol Yuzy, Yamaha, -35.344<BR>14. Hector Faubel, Aprilia, -56.484<BR>15. Jay Vincent, Honda, -56.894<BR><BR>22. Casey Stoner, Aprilia, -17 laps, DNF, crash<BR>23. Franco Battaini, Aprilia, -17 laps, DNF, crash<BR>24. Haruchika Aoki, Honda, -22 laps, DNF, retired<BR>25. Leon Haslam, Honda, -24 laps, DNF, retired<BR><BR>More from an Aprilia prass release:<BR>Marco Melandri second. An all-Aprilia podium with Nieto first and De Puniet third.<BR><BR>The last two laps of the 250 were dominated by a hard-fought duel between Marco Melandri and Fonsi Nieto. Macio paved the way for the closing stages of the race as from the 12th lap when he overtook De Puniet and Locatelli, before going after Nieto who was getting ready to break away. Once he had made contact with the Spaniard, the two riders battled it out making one lap record after the other. A rapid cut and thrust which took them to the finishing line just two tenths apart. Nieto was victorious, and the first four places were all Aprilia.<BR><BR><BR>Marco Melandri # 3 (MS APRILIA RACING) – 2nd - 43'41.392 <BR><BR><BR>"When I saw Nieto all set to move out ahead, I decided to go for it: I slipped past De Puniet and then Locatelli and headed out to catch the leader. I must say I had some difficulty in the last part of the track. This was a race I really didn't want to lose, so on the penultimate lap I decided to draw up a strategy for the end of the race, and I found a place where I could get past Nieto. I wasn't going to run the risk of making contact and waste a good result. Fonsi braked in the chicane, so I too had to touch the brakes while the bike was down. I lost ground and time: five metres which was hard to recoup, partly because I wasn't so fast when I came out of the Dunlop."<BR><BR><BR>