Results 125/250 GP of Catalunya

Colin MacKellar
by Colin MacKellar
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
After the rain and misery of Mugello, everyone was glad to get to the sunshine of Spain and a dry GP. Both races ended up with 2 riders fighting tooth and nail for the victory on the final lap of the race. Who was King for a day? Just read on....

2001 Catalunya GRAND PRIXTRACK: Circuit de Catalunya, BarcelonaDATE: 17 June 2001WEATHER: Warm, cloudy, windy 250cc Race Results (23laps)------------------Pos No. Rider Nat Bike Time/Diff--- --- ----- --- ---- ---------1 74 Katoh Jpn Hon 41'40.3472 31 Harada Jpn Apr 0.1143 44 Rolfo Ita Apr 12.5734 15 Locatelli Ita Apr 19.0775 10 Nieto Spa Apr 22.7766 99 McWilliams Gbr Apr 22.8537 7 Alzamora Spa Hon 22.8768 81 de Puniet Fra Apr 31.2249 66 Hofmann Ger Apr 33.56710 8 Matsudo Jpn Yam 37.75411 6 Debon Spa Apr 38.03912 18 Yuzy Mal Yam 38.10013 46 Sekiguchi Jpn Yam 38.18214 9 Porto Arg Yam 38.31215 12 Nohles Ger Apr 39.701World Championship==================JPN RSA SPA FRA ITA CAT1 Katoh 131 25 25 25 25 6 252 Harada 121 20 16 20 20 25 203 Melandri 78 10 20 16 16 16 -4 Locatelli 73 16 13 8 10 13 135 Rolfo 71 11 8 9 7 20 166 Nieto 60 5 11 11 11 11 117 McWilliams 43 8 10 6 9 - 107= Alzamora 42 - - 10 13 10 99 Matsudo 34 13 7 4 - 4 610 Hofmann 27 4 6 5 5 - 710 Battaini 19 9 - 7 3 - - Katoh back in the grooveHarada comes close, but not close enough

There were just 2 riders able to race at 110% for 23 laps of the Catalunyan circuit, Dajiroh Katoh( Telefonica Movistar Honda) and Tetsuya Harada (MS Aprilia Racing). After Marco Melandri slipped off his Aprilia on lap 11, the two Japanese riders laid down their laps at the fastest pace of the field and pulled gradually away from Roberto Rolfo (Safilo Oxydo Aprilia), having another excellent race. Harada was able to stay within a couple of bike lengths of Katoh, but could not pass and hold the lead. There was some interest down the field in the battle for best Spanish rider, which eventually went to Fonsi Nieto (Valencia Aspar Aprilia), but the race was pretty static.

Melandri got the drop on polesitter Katoh at the start of the race and led into the first turn, with Harada and Katoh close behind. Harada moved past almost immediately, but Katoh chose to hang back for a couple of laps to judge the relative speeds of his Aprilia rivals. By lap 4 he decide that he had them sorted and he moved to the front of the group. Initially Emilio Alzamora (Telefonica Movistar Honda) was able to match the pace of the leaders, but he dropped back past Roberto Rolfo, who was again riding a strong race as best non-factory Aprilia. Other than a small mistake on lap 9, when Harada moved past him briefly, Katoh seemed to be riding fast, but well within his limits. Despite the injuries sustained so far this season Melandri also seemed to be comfortable, but on lap 11, he lost the rear end of the bike and slid into the gravel trap. By this time, Rolfo, now 3rd., was 6 seconds down on the leaders and he could make no impression on their lead. Roberto Locatelli (MS Racing Aprilia) and Jeremy McWilliams (Aprilia Grand Prix team) gradually caught and passed Alzamora, but while Locatelli could pull away, McWilliams became caught up with a fight for With just 5 laps to go, they were joined by Fonsi Nieto and the three of them battled to the flag, with Nieto getting the place by half a wheel.

Harada continued to shadow Katoh as the race came to a close and it looked like the Aprilia rider was waiting for a last-lap challenge, probably at the end of the lap, where he seemed to be a little faster. Indeed Harada moved right up to the rear wheel on the last left-hander of the race, but Katoh had the move covered and Harada could not pass. On the remaining right-handers Harada tried to get alongside, but ended up a bike-length short of victory.

Katoh extended his lead to 10 points in the championship, but Harada is still a threat and it just needs another race like Mugello for the title chase to be wide open. Still 5 wins from 6 races is an amazing achievement for the Honda rider.

Katja? She crashed on the first lap, picked herself up, dusted down the bike and rejoined the race. Ended up 26th. and last. The spirit's there for sure.

125cc Race Results (22 laps)------------------Pos No. Rider Nat Bike Time/Diff--- --- ----- --- ---- ---------1 9 Cechinello Ita Apr 41'31.6962 24 Elias Spa Hon 0.5733 54 Poggiali RSM Gil 6.7644 17 Jenkner Ger Apr 6.8545 41 Ui Jpn Der 7.0296 22 Nieto P. Spa Der 7.5587 26 Pedrosa Spa Hon 7.7888 25 Olive Spa Hon 18.4369 15 Angelis RSM Hon 18.60210 16 Sanna Ita Apr 23.10911 7 Perugini Ita Ita 23.23212 29 Angel Jr. A Spa Hon 23.29113 8 Scalvini Ita Ita 23.65214 21 Vincent Fra Hon 24.30815 10 Müller Ger Hon 24.465World Championship==================JPN RSA SPA FRA ITA CAT1 Poggiali 88 11 20 - 25 16 162 Borsoi 75 13 13 16 13 20 -3 Azuma 72 25 6 25 8 8 -4 Cecchinello 66 10 - 20 11 - 255 Ueda 63 - 16 13 9 25 -6 Ui 61 20 25 - 5 - 117 Elias 52 - - 3 16 13 208 Nieto A 49 5 11 11 6 6 109 Vincent 43 7 10 5 10 9 210 Jenkner 38 9 8 - 4 4 13 Cecchinello takes second GP win from 107 starts

Lucio Cecchinello (MS Aprilia) is one of the veterans of the 125 class, joining the class alongside Valentino Rossi, seeing Rossi move on, seeing Melandri join and move on. Not a strong winner, but a regular top 10 finisher. Today was his second day of glory after his first win 3 years ago. In a very close race with new Spanish star Tony Elias (Telefonica Movistar Honda), Cecchinello recovered from a poor start from pole position to join the leaders, Elias, Ueda (FCC-TSR Honda) and Perugini (Italjet Racing) by lap 6. His job of leading the field was simplified 4 laps later, when Ueda lost the front wheel on a right-hander at the top of the circuit, forcing Perugini to go wide into the gravel trap to avoid the crash. This left Elias and Cecchinello with a 6-second lead on a pack of 6 riders fighting for third place. Despite some very close racing, all six riders managed to make it to the checkered flag with the exception of Masao Azuma (Liegeois Honda), who slid out of the group on the penultimate lap. Elias took the lead with 5 laps to go and stayed on top until Cecchinello used an identical passing move on a long right-hander to again take the lead with 2 laps to go. Elias shadowed the Italian for the last 2 laps, waiting until the last half of the last lap to try and take Cecchinello on the last left-hander of the track. the bikes touched and Elias had to back off or crash, leaving Cecchinello to take the win.

Next race Dutch TT 30 June

Get in your Inbox
Colin MacKellar
Colin MacKellar

More by Colin MacKellar

Join the conversation