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GP Week : Issue 50
>>Moto GPCATALUNyA 125: Simple Simon loses count JULIAN Simon (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) dominated practice, started from pole and led almost every lap from the ever-pressing Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Aprilia). At the end of an otherwise perfectly judged race, he rose in his seat in celebration as he crossed the line comfortably clear of his race-long rival. One lap too soon. The Spaniard and the Italian had drawn a little ahead as they exchanged the lead several times, but Simon was in control. Until his unwitting 250: gift made Iannone the first to win three races this year. “Julian was really quick … I was just happy I could stick behind him. When he thought he’d won the race: well, that’s racing. I’ve had bad luck in races,” he said. Pol Espargaro had led the first lap, and was well in contention on lap six when he suddenly slowed and pulled out, his Derbi’s gear- lever snapped off. The remaining battle for third was intriguing, slimming to four riders by half distance as points leader Bradley Smith (Aspar Aprilia) dropped away. They were still almost side by side as they crossed the line, with Simon also among them with a final swoop through the last corner. Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia) grabbed second by a nose. It took a photo finish to give third to Sergio Gadea from team-mate Simon. Teenager Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM) and remarkable rookie Jonas Folger (Ongeta Aprilia) were almost alongside, second to sixth covered by less than three tenths. Slow-starting Stefan Bradl (Kiefer Aprilia) caught and passed Smith, holding him narrowly at bay to the finish. Sandro Cortese (Derbi) prevailed in another big fight for the last points, over Randy Krummenacher (Degraaf Aprilia) and Blusens Aprilia rider Scott Redding. Danny Webb fell back from this to retire, after suffering painful right hand injuries in a practice crash. Simon regained the points lead, by one-and-a-half over Smith, with earlier leader Iannone closing to within 12.5 Bautista blazes as Simoncelli stumbles EVERYONE expected another showdown between defender Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) and home boy Alvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Aprilia). And they got one. But it was too soon, and too short, ending when the impetuous Italian slid off on the third lap. Bautista had just taken the lead from fast-starting Hector Barbera (Pepe World Aprilia), and Simoncelli followed him past. He was challenging at the end of the back straight when he leaned it over too far. He remounted, only to pit in despair after a few more laps. This left Bautista in a lead he was able to build all race long, finally winning by better than seven seconds. It turned the rest into rather a procession, relieved by some good fighting over second. After half distance Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) had closed on Barbera, and got ahead for a couple of laps. It didn’t last, and he was dropping back when Hiro Aoyama (Team Scot Honda) emerged at speed from the next group. He’d dropped behind Thomas Luthi (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia) and Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera) in a fading sixth, his engine cutting in and out. “Then I got my rhythm,” and he started to pick up places, Locatelli obligingly crashing ahead of him. With nine laps left he closed more than three seconds on Pasini, passed him easily then hounded his way up to Barbera, taking second off the Spaniard on the final lap. With Pasini a safe fourth, Alex Debon (Aeropuerto Castello Aprilia) came through to take fifth off Luthi near the end. Wilairot was a distant but secure seventh. In the last laps, Karel Abraham (Cardion Aprilia) emerged for eighth, ahead of Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Honda), Hector Faubel (Valencia Honda) and the rest of the gang. Zero points was a blow to Simoncelli’s title position. Bautista leads on 108 from Aoyama on 96, then Barbera (75), Pasini (64) and Simoncelli (61). 27