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GP Week : Issue 4
Mechanical failure the culprit as race leaders crash 250cc: Kallio seizes the moment A thrilling 250 race came to a disastrous climax for the two riders who had made it so, when pole starter and narrow leader Alvaro Bautista’s Mapfre Aspar Aprilia seized its engine on the last lap. Race-long rival Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) was inches behind, poised for an attack, and ran right into the back of him, sending both sprawling in the gravel. The pair had been locked in combat all race long, Italian Simoncelli getting ahead a couple of times mid-race, though never for long; and the outcome was still very much in doubt. As the pair gave one another a forgiving hug by the barrier, Finn Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM) sailed past for the luckiest win of his career. “I am sorry for them, because they were faster today … but a win is a win,” said Kallio, who moved to second in the points table. Four seconds behind, Qatar winner and class rookie Mattia Pasini (Polaris World Aprilia) gained two places on a hectic last lap for second, passing his last victim, Yuki Takahashi (Team Scot Honda) on the run to the line. Hiro Aoyama (Red Bull KTM) was consigned to fourth, inches behind. Hector Barbera (Team Toth Aprilia) had dropped out of this battle in the last laps, but was safe in fifth. Thomas Luthi (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia) had been with the pack chasing the two leaders, and had just moved past Kallio when he crashed out with four of the 26 laps left. POLE starter Bradley Smith (Polaris World Aprilia) took off for an early lead, but after one lap Jack & Jones Aprilia rider Nicolas Terol pushed past, and shortly afterwards the pair were joined by Terol’s team-mate Simone Corsi. By half distance Corsi had taken the lead, and was never to lose it, finally finishing more than three seconds ahead of Spaniard Terol. By then, Smith was embroiled in a three-strong battle for third, prevailing by less than a tenth over German Stefan Bradl (Grizzly Gas Aprilia), with Pablo Nieto (Onde 2000 KTM) a close fifth. American Steve Bonsey (Degraaf Aprilia) had been with the group, but was 20 seconds behind the leader after fading at the finish. “I’m a bit down on speed, and I’d used up my tyres,” he explained. Sixth was the ex- dirt-tracker’s career best. British rookie Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia) was again impressive, prevailing over the next group for seventh. Compatriot Danny Webb (Degraaf Aprilia) was one of seven to crash, after slipping out of the top ten. Defending champion Gabor Talmacsi (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) was with the leaders until he suddenly slowed and pulled off on lap four. His crankshaft had broken. Team-mate Sergio Gadea, winner at Qatar, had a terrible start from row three, and had dropped to 19th place when he crashed out, in a bad day for the leading team. The win gave Corsi the lead on points, over German teenager Bradl. Smith in tight struggle for third 125cc: Corsi on course 33 M oto GP SPAIN >>