Motorcycling: Sakata title ratified

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THE JAPANESE rider Kazuto Sakata has been confirmed as the world 125cc champion following a meeting of the sport's governing body in Geneva.

The Aprilla rider thought he had clinched the title by finishing fourth in the Australian Grand Prix on 4 October but appeared set to lose it to his compatriot, Tomomi Manako, because of a fuel irregularity that would have seen his points from that race wiped out.

However, a second test of Sakata's fuel in a Milan laboratory earlier this month showed it was within all limits.

Because of the significant discrepancies between the results of the tests, the matter was submitted to the International Motorcyling Federation's Grand Prix Permanent Bur-eau. It ruled on Monday that the second test would stand and that Sakata would be crowned champion for the second time, following his success in 1994.