West makes podium in 250cc - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West makes podium in 250cc

15/06/2003 10:41:22 PM Comments (0)

Queensland's Anthony West has become the first Australian in 21 years to finish on the podium in a 250cc motor cycle grand prix.

He finished third in the sixth round of the world championship at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona.

The 21 year-old Aprilia rider completed the 23-lap race in 42 minutes 2.534 seconds in hot conditions.

He finished 2.641 seconds behind race winner Randy De Puniet of France, who was followed by fellow Aprilia rider Fonsi Nieto of Spain.

The previous Australian to finish on the podium in a 250cc grand prix was Graeme McGregor with second place on a Rotax in the Belgium round of the 1982 world championship at Spa-Francorchamps.

West made his grand prix debut in the 125cc category at Phillip Island in Australia in 1998, and the race at Catalunya was his 53rd start in the world championship.

After qualifying ninth, West charged into the top five on the fourth lap, and then improved to third during the middle stages of the race after world championship leader Manuel Poggiali retired because of mechanical problems with his Aprilia.

"It's taken quite a few years to finally get on the podium and a lot of hard work, so I'm very happy," said West.

"It was a tough race because I had a lot of trouble on the exits of the corners.

"The other guys were pulling away from me coming out of the turns, but I was able to make up time by giving it everything under brakes."

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