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GP Week : Issue 62
A fantastic battle came to a predictable end, when the two main protagonists crashed into each other on the last corner of the 125 race. Erstwhile leader Pol Espargaro (Derbi) was the innocent victim, hot-head Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Aprilia) the villain ... and championship leader Julian Simon (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) the beneficiary, after wisely hanging slightly back from a clearly dangerous duel. Simon and Iannone had been disputing the lead throughout, Simon making most of the running. Indy winner Espargaro was meanwhile coming through impressively from a poor start ... finishing lap one down in 13th place. Simone Corsi (Fontana Aprilia) was with the leaders as they drew clear of a pack led by Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia), but the Italian faded out of touch before ten laps were done. Pole starter Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) was in the chase group, dropping to eighth after missing a gear on lap 12, but getting straight back to fifth. All the while Espargaro was picking up places. By lap ten he was hounding Terol for third, both closing a gap of almost 2.5 seconds to the leaders. Up front Simon was riding cautiously, mindful of his points lead; while Iannone was pushing and thrusting, ahead over the line every so often. "I don't like his style," said Simon. "He hit Corsi on the second lap, and then crashed Espargaro at the end." With six laps left, Espargaro passed Terol, and two laps later lit the fuse and scythed a 1.3 second gap to nothing in one lap. He took over the lead on the 21st. Iannone redoubled his aggression trying to get back. He succeeded, briefly, into the last corner ... only to slide down and out, taking a livid Espargaro with him. The Spaniard's bike leapt the barrier, so he ran back to his assailant's bike and smashed the screen and fairing with his fists, to make sure he wouldn't be able to rejoin. Terol inherited second, and a likewise lucky Smith third. Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM) managed to save fourth from Sandro Cortese (Ajo Derbi), with Stefan Bradl (Kieffer Aprilia) dropping back from the battle for sixth, and Corsi a distant seventh. Simon now has one hand on the title, with 210 points to Terol's 152.5 and Smith's 147.5. Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia), who crashed out on the first corner, has 112, and Iannone 109.5. 125: Simon profits from last-corner mayhem 30