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GP Week : Issue 26
250: Bautista wins thriller THE 250s laid on a thriller, the best argument against the move to production-based 600s in 2010. A combination of brawling riders on a very tight track led to a series of collisions, crashes and wild changes of fortune among the front-runners. The winner was Alvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Aprilia), who came through from sixth on lap 1 after saving a first-lap crash with his elbow! Worst of the casualties was Mattia Pasini (Polaris World Aprilia), who came through from 11th to take the lead by lap 10. Two laps later he crashed, after colliding with Hector Barbera (Team Toth Aprilia), who had dived underneath him in a highly adventurous overtaking move. So adventurous that Pasini’s team tried to put in a protest, which was quashed instantly by race direction. There were several others. Red Bull KTM rider Mika Kallio did his own title chances no good after running into the back of team-mate Hiro Aoyama on the fourth lap. Both went flying. A little later Lotus Aprilia rider Alex Debon and fellow Spaniard Hector Faubel (Mapfre Aprilia) also crashed out together. Pole starter Barbera and points leader Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) made the early running, kept close company by Yuki Takahashi (Team Scot Honda) and Aleix Espargaro (Lotus Aprilia). Soon they were joined by Pasini, Bautista and for a while Julian Simon (Red Bull KTM). The action was truly ferocious. Over and again they would exchanged places and in the case of Simoncelli and Barbera also paint. It went wrong on lap 23 for Simoncelli, after yet another barging bout, when he slid off on a slow corner. He kept hold of the handlebars and clutch to jump straight back on, but down in sixth. Bautista was already leading by then, and was relieved of pressure. Takahashi likewise managed to keep out of trouble for his best result of the year, with Barbera dropping back towards the end, his tyres shot. Veteran Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera) kept it cool for fourth. Simoncelli stretched his points lead over no- score Kallio, with 190 to 164. Bautista has a threatening 163, Barbera 142 and Debon 139. 125: Gabor the Great DEFENDING champion Gabor Talmacsi made good his pre-race threat to claim a clear victory in the first race of the day. And with points leader Mike di Meglio (Ajo Derbi) crashing out while leading a frenzied battle for third, he injected tension into the title battle. The Bancaja Aspar Aprilia rider did not have it all his own way. Briton Bradley Smith (Polaris World Aprilia) chased him most of the way, and even got ahead for three laps at mid-distance after the Hungarian rider had run wide in one of the circuit’s tight corners after going down one gear too many. By the end, Smith had dropped back five seconds for a safe second, equalling his best finish yet. The battle for third eventually dropped to two. Joan Olive (Belson Derbi) had moved through from a disastrous start to head the group and move away, with Simone Corsi’s J&J Aprilia going with him. On the last lap, the Italian pounced on the three 34 tightening right-handers at the end of the back straight. Then Olive crashed in his efforts to get back, to remount for a desolate 12th. Stefan Bradl (Grizzly Gas Aprilia) had played a leading role in the big gang going for third, and was on Olive’s back wheel when he suddenly slowed and pulled off on lap 15. This left it to rookie Marc Marquez (Repsol KTM) to nip ahead of Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia) on the last lap for what was now fourth; followed inch-close by Andrea Iannone (IC Aprilia), Sandro Cortese (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia), Dominique Aegerter (Ajo Derbi) and Esteve Rabat (Repsol KTM). British GP winner Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia) crashed out of the front group on the second lap. Di Meglio’s points lead is still large: 186 points to Corsi on 158, with Talmacsi leapfrogging no- score Bradl for third, 147 points to 126. Gabor Talmacsi