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GP Week : Issue 55
250: Simoncelli shows the way THE first attempt started with a big mid-field crash at the first corner, with four bikes down, but was promptly red-flagged as rain started to fall. Thai Honda’s Ratthapark Wilairot hurt his back, and was unable to make the restart. Pole qualifier Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) had led, but it was Alex Debon (Aeropuerto Castello Aprilia) who got the jump at the re- start, the track now dry again, running away to lead lap one by more than a second. Simoncelli was by now heading the pursuit, and almost immediately broke free to hunt down the leading Spaniard. At the start of lap eight he dived underneath into the tight first corner, and from there to the end the pair circulated in formation. It was his second win of the year, and a much-needed boost to his title chances. “There is a lot of racing to come,” he said. There was a big gang behind them, led for most of the way by points leader Hiro Aoyama (Scot Honda), under severe pressure all the way. His attackers included Hector Faubel (SAG Honda), Hector Barbera (Pepe World Aprilia) and Alvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Aprilia). Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) had caught up to join them, but crashed out at the end of lap 17. Aoyama fended everybody off until the last lap, when Bautista sneaked past into the first corner, and held third to the finish … his pace carrying the group survivors to within a tenth of a second of Debon. With one more lap, Bautista might have won. With Aoyama fourth and Barbera fifth, the first five crossed the line within less than 1.3 seconds. Faubel dropped away in sixth. Aleix Espargaro (Balatonring Aprilia) snitched seventh off Thomas Luthi (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia) n the last lap after catching up mid-distance. The pair outpaced Scot Honda’s Raffaele de Rosa. Roberto Locatelli was another eight seconds away in tenth. Aoyama still leads on points, 134 to Bautista’s 124. Barbera’s third is under threat from Simoncelli, 106 to 102. Pasini is fifth on 64, with Debon one point behind. 125: Simon leaves the rest for dead JULIAN Simon dropped from the 250 class back to 125s this year. In Germany, it looked as though he may have brought his bike with him, as he jetted away to a massive victory, his second of the year. The Bancaja Aspar Aprilia rider was almost ten seconds clear by the end, after taking the lead from fast-starting team- mate Bradley Smith when the Englishman ran wide in the first corner. Erstwhile points leader Smith then ran off the track a quarter of a lap later, rejoined at the back, only to crash out, blaming a too- hard front tyre choice. “This is very important,”said Simon, who extended his series lead to 25 points. “I 3 pushed a lot in the first laps because I used a soft front tyre. Then I saw three seconds lead, and it continued to grow.” Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia) chased, but was caught by third Aspar rider Sergio Gadea after seven laps. Gadea continued alone to second; Terol dropped back into the next battling group. Here Andrea Iannone (ISPA Aprilia) had come through from 22nd on a muddled grid for a fierce fight with Joan Olive (Derbi), Simone Corsi (Fontana Aprilia) and Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM). Corsi was the first to leave, sliding out on the penultimate corner at half distance. Then Iannone’s over-worked tyres saw the Italian drop out of contention. The remaining three were at it to the end. Marquez’s bid for third was doomed, after he collided with Olive on the exit from the second-last turn. Battling to get back, he was off line for the last corner, and had a huge high-side crash. Terol was fourth. A couple of seconds behind, Pol Espargaro (Derbi) prevailed over Sandro Cortese (Ajo Derbi), both getting ahead of the fading Iannone in the last laps. Danny Webb (Degraaf Aprilia) hung on to eighth ahead of Ajo Derbi’s Dominique Aegerter and Tomoyoshi Koyama (Loncin). Smith’s no-score dropped him to third overall, with Simon leading on 129 points.