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GP Week : Issue 44
BRITON Bradley Smith took his first ever GP win in convincing style and by almost 15s, flying away from the start and keeping his head down as Bancaja Aspar team- mate and pole starter Julian Simon gained second place on lap 2, and slowly whittled his lead down to just over 1.5s. Then on the fifth of 23 laps, Simon was gone, crashed out. From there on Smith had only to sustain his pace and was able to pull away to win his 50th GP. But not without problems … an electronic quick-shift glitch robbed him of fifth gear with some seven laps left, almost causing him to crash as it failed and the engine lost power suddenly. “You always try to picture your first win, but this is nothing like it,”said Smith. “It’s been a long time coming – but I’m glad I waited.” The battle for second was an epic, as a group of four battling riders were joined by four more in the closing laps. At the end of the 21st German rookie Jonas Folger (Ongetta Aprilia) fell on the last hairpin, pushing Pol Espargaro (Derbi) off the track. Folger had started from the back of the grid after crashing in qualifying, and finished lap on 24th in an impressive afternoon. Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) took advantage to lead the group to the finish, with Red Bull KTM rider Marc Marquez third. Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia), Efren Vazquez (KTM), Sandro Cortese (Ajo Derbi) and the displaced Espargaro followed in close order. Stefan Bradl (Kiefer Aprilia) crashed out unhurt from a top10 position; Michael Ranseder (Haojue) missed the start after gearbox failure before the warm-up lap. Earlier points leader Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Aprilia) crashed out on the first lap, rejoining at the back but finishing out of the points in 19th. 26 125: Smith’s long wai