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GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
125: Pol takes the pot A thrilling start to the day ended with a nail-biting first GP win for Pol Espargaro's Derbi, fending off a final lap-record- speed attack from Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aprilia), after a five-bike battle that had raged all race long. Brno winner Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia) had done all the hard work, leading into the first corner, and over the line every time until the last two laps. Smith had been ahead out on the infield, but it was the inspired Espargaro who swooped past into the first sweeping corner, and he held the lead to the finish, in spite of Smith's greatest efforts. Smith was defending as well as attacking, with Simone Corsi (Fontana Aprilia) all over the back of him to the end. The luckless Terol was thoroughly mugged in the final sprint, but managed to stay ahead of points leader Julian Simon (Bancaja Aprilia), who held an ultra-close watching position throughout the fascinating race-long battle. "It's hard to believe," said a rapturous Espargaro. "I tried and tried to pass Nico, and on the second-last lap I tried another time. When I was first I did all that I could. It's a very big dream." Smith was content with second, after being slightly down on speed, "so I had to fight a little bit harder in the corners. I thought I had the pace to win ... but that's racing." There had been six, but Efren Vazquez (Derbi) was pulled in for a jumped start. The remaining quintet were smashing the record as they pulled clear, leaving Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM) to a distant sixth just ahead of a disputatious Stefan Bradl (Kieffer Aprilia). The gang had been bigger, but third Bancaja rider Sergio Gadea had dropped away, leaving eighth to Joan Olive (Derbi). Disappointment for Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia), who fought through to 11th after machine troubles left him qualified 26th, only to break down again. Simon's points lead shrank, but remains massive: 185 to Terol's 132.5. Smith is just one point behind; Gadea has 112, and race retiree Iannone 109.5. 38