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GP Week : 06-May-2008
M oto GP CHINA >> ITALIAN IC Aprilia rider Andrea Iannone chose difficult conditions for his first GP win in four years of trying, prevailing over heavy rain and then a drying track, as well as defending champion Gabor Talmacsi (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia). In fact, Talmacsi was third by the end, narrowly unable to repass French Ajo Derbi rider Mike di Meglio after lying fifth in the early stages. In the tricky conditions, it was a race of many crashes, dashing the hopes of 13 riders, one of whom Sandro Cortese remounted for a second tumble. One prominent faller was pole starter Bradley Smith (Polaris World Aprilia), who was the early leader. By lap 7 he was third behind Talmacsi when he slid off, slumping in despair after failing to restart his bike. Another was Spanish and Portuguese winner Simone Corsi (Jack and Jones Aprilia), punted off early at the over-crowded hairpin. Talmacsi took the lead on lap 10, but Iannone got it straight back. “I didn’t expect to win, I thought Gabor would be faster,” said Iannone. “Then I saw maybe I could do something, so I started to push really hard.” It was enough to carry him clear, as the champion faded little by little, falling back into the hands of di Meglio with seven laps left. Talmacsi finished less than two tenths adrift. Pol Espargaro (Belson Derbi) had been with the leaders until half distance, finishing and was a safe fourth, another 10 seconds down, and a similar distance ahead of Stefan Bradl (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Aprilia). He, in turn, had escaped from a big gang, led at the end by Joan Olive (Belson Derbi). Corsi retained the title lead, by nine points over Olive. 125: Difficult conditions, maiden win 27