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GP Week : Issue 34
125: On Corsi for victory EARLY championship contender Simone Corsi made sure of second overall, as he and J&J Aprilia team-mate Nico Terol took the first two places in the first race of the day. They were only inches ahead of new champion Mike di Meglio (Ajo Derbi), after a sustained battle that he lost only two laps from the end, running wide in one of the sinuous Ricardo Tormo circuit’s many slow corners. Briton Bradley Smith (Polaris World Aprilia) was hardly further behind, and Sandro Cortese (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia) right on his back wheel. The lead had changed hands over again, often twice a lap, with Corsi and di Meglio making the running, the others packed up close for most of the race. “I tried to get away early on, but my bike was slipping around, and I had a great race with Mike,” said Corsi. The leading quintet had pulled clear after only six laps. By then, fast-starting 2007 champion Gabor Talmacsi had already dropped out of contention with mechanical problems that soon triggered a crash. Starting from pole, the Hungarian had been desperate to beat Corsi to retain second overall. Bancaja Aspar Aprilia team-mate Sergio Gadea had been in early contention too, but on the third lap a charging Stefan Bradl (Grizzly Gas Aprilia), up to third from seventh on lap 1, went flying right in front of him, taking the Spaniard down and out as well. American Stevie Bonsey (Degraaf Aprilia) also crashed, on lap 16 while lying sixth, after a strong run. His team-mate Danny Webb, a frequent faller, had already crashed out, following a tumble also in morning warm-up. This left Andrea Iannone a lone sixth. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Red Bull KTM) won a race-long battle with Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia) for seventh: retiring veteran Pablo Nieto (Onde 2000 KTM) held off Esteve Rabat (Repsol KTM) and Lorenzo Zannetti (ISPA KTM). Di Meglio ended up on 264 points, with Corsi’s 225 comfortably out-pointing non- scorer Talmacsi’s 206. Bradl (187) stayed fourth, from Terol (176) and Smith (150). Olive retired, but held on to seventh from Cortese by one point. 250: Stylish finish for Champ MARCO Simoncelli celebrated a remarkable year, the 100th for the Gilera marque, when he rode his Metis Gilera to his sixth win of his championship season. It was a clear-cut conclusion to what had started out as an exciting 250 race, though by the end he had outdistanced all his rivals. Mika Kallio, in his and the Red Bull KTM’s last 250 race, had chased him hard almost all the way. But the Finn slid off with only a few corners to go, gifting second place to another departing rider, Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda), in what is probably the last 250 race for a Honda as well. Simoncelli described it as “the perfect end to a great season. I started not so good, 32 and for six or seven laps it was very difficult. After that, I kept my rhythm, tried to push more, and went in front.”. Alvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Aprilia) was a distant third, after his usual trouble in the early laps with a full tank, and closing impressively at the end. He had caught and passed fast-starting veteran Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera), and left behind a fierce battle for what would ultimately become fifth. This had seen Alex Debon (Lotus Aprilia) narrowly fending off Hiro Aoyama (Red Bull KTM), Hector Faubel (Mapfre Aprilia) and Aleix Espargaro (Lotus Aprilia), until Superbike-bound Debon crashed on the 22nd hectic lap, leaving the other three to finish in that order. Thai Honda rider Wilairot was a close eighth, with Mattia Pasini (Polaris World Aprilia) dropping way back behind. Home crowd favourite Julian Simon (Repsol KTM) had been with the leaders in the early stages, and in front a couple of times. Before half distance he had lost touch with the front three, and on lap 19 was dropping back badly. At that point Bautista, speeding up, came past down the straight, and one corner later Simon sat up and slowed, his KTM broken again. No change in the main championship positions, with Simoncelli on 281, Bautista 244, Kallio 196, Debon 176 and Takahashi 167. Barbera, still absent injured, is sixth on 142.