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GP Week : Issue 1
41 M oto GP QATAR >> 250: Pasini emerges from the ruck THOMAS Luthi (Caffe Latte Aprilia) took a flier from the line to lead the early laps, but he had jumped the start. He’d already ceded first to Alvaro Bautista’s Mapfre Aspar Aprilia when he pitted for a ride-through penalty. But Bautista would run into problems of his own, after punishing his rear tyre and running into serious sliding problems. It was Spanish compatriot Hector Barbera (Team Toth Aprilia) who took over, but he was riding with painkilling injections in his left arm, and as they wore off he was unable to prevent a lead of more than two seconds being whittled away. The race became processional in the closing stages, then came to life again. At the finish there were four of them battling, including Barbera, Pasini, pole qualifier Alex Debon (Lotus Aprilia) and Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM). Pasini had finished lap 1 only seventh, but moved steadily forward as the race wore on. An opportunistic move on the second-last lap gave him the lead for the first time, and he was able to capitalise on it as the others brawled. He was just over half a second clear over the line, with Barbera a similar distance ahead of Kallio, the last man on the rostrum. Veteran Debon was the big loser. He took the lead from Barbera midway through the penultimate lap, only to be consigned to fourth by the time they’d got to the end of it. Yuki Takahashi (Team Scot Honda) was fifth, with the sliding Bautista hanging on to sixth. Luthi took the final point for 15th. – MICHAEL SCOTT THE smallest class ran the first ever after-dark GP, and Spaniard Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar) was the winner of a fierce battle. Briton Bradley Smith started from pole and led the first lap, only for his Polaris World Aprilia to wobble on a corner exit and slow on the second. His steering damper had failed, and he dropped steadily back to 16th. Defending Champion Gabor Talmacsi (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) took over, but there was no comfort zone. At half distance there was still a seven- strong pack up front, and the lead had hanged hands twice more – first to Joan Olive (Belson Derbi), then to Talmacsi’s team-mate Sergio Gadea. Talmacsi was back in front when he suddenly slowed with four laps to go, flapping at the throttle and managing to coax a semblance of life back into his sick engine to bring it home 12th. Raffaele de Rosa (Onde KTM) crashed out of the group with three laps to go after colliding with Olive. This left five still close as they started the last lap, but by then Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) had taken a small lead, and extended it to almost a second by the flag. A doubtful starter after injuring his shoulder only days before in tests, it was a heroic win, and he was in considerable pain after the finish. Olive recovered to second, with young German Stefan Bradl (Grizzly Gas Aprilia) winning a desperate scramble to the line for third, from Mike di Meglio (Ajo Derbi) and rookie Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia). Rookie Redding took the lap record as consolation. – MICHAEL SCOTT 125: Gadea through the pain barrier