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GP Week : Issue 65
Moto GP news >> Simon has chance of rst title of the year SPANISH racer Julian Simon has the chance to become the first champion of 2009 at next weekend's Portuguese GP at Estoril, after a blazing return to the 125 class from 250s. But both MotoGP and 250 have a long way to go, with the smaller class possibly remaining open until the very last 250 GP of all time. Bancaja Aspar rider Simon needs some misfortune to his two closest rivals. Should the Spaniard win, he will only be champion if team-mate Bradley Smith finishes outside the top four. A greater threat comes from second- placed Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia), who needs to be no better than ninth for Simon to garner the 75-point advantage he needs. Valentino Rossi may be favourite for a seventh premier- class title, but a lead of only 30 points over Lorenzo is far from secure. Including the Portuguese round, there is still a maximum of 100 points to be won. One more slip like that at Indy, handing victory to Lorenzo, would cut his advantage to only five points. The struggle for the last 250 crown is the most delicately balanced. Although defender Marco Simoncelli's hopes are dwindling, with a deficit of 40 points on leader Hiro Aoyama, the earlier title favourite Alvaro Bautista is only 13 points adrift. 15