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GP Week : Issue 77
IT could have been another 125 race, but for the noise. And the numbers. With a packed grid of 41 on identically powered bikes, a close race was never in doubt. What was unexpected was the winner. Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP Suter) emerged from the shadows of a privateer 250 debut to take the lead on the sixth lap -- a lead he would never lose. The self-effacing Japanese rider was more than a second clear by half-distance, and with the benefit of a clear track he kept on stretching. By the end he was better than 4.5 seconds ahead of the remnants of an early pack of five. He was rendered almost speechless by his historic win, saying only: "This is very, very nice. The team has worked very hard," before lapsing into a wreath of tearful smiles. Toni Elias (Gresini Moriwaki) had overcome fresh hand and foot injuries to qualify on pole, underlining his superior form in testing. He led the first lap, and was in the front battle until pain and weakness took their toll in the closing laps. This left second to be disputed between 250 veteran Alex Debon (Aeroporto Castello FTR) and French parvenu Jules Cluzel (Forward Suter) . Cluzel seemed to have the better of it, but Debon dived past again to take control to the flag. A couple of seconds adrift, Elias got back ahead of returned GP veteran Robbie Rolfo (Italtrans Suter). But it was a short afternoon for some fancied runners, with Alex de Angelis (RSM Team Scot Force GP210) underlining his headstrong reputation with a heavy and painful high-side in only the second corner. He took out fellow front-row starter Stefan Bradl (Viesmann Kiefer Suter) in the process, while Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar RSV), also from the front row, rode straight into the pits at the end of the first laps to retire. There were strong battles down the field: Mattia Pasini (JIR Motobi) got back ahead of a charging Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki) for sixth, with Simone Corsi (JIR Motobi) close behind and Gabor Talmacsi (Fimco Speedup) dropping off the back. Luthi had set the new lap record on his run through from 19th on lap one. And there was a huge battle for tenth, won convincingly in the end by Sergio Gadea (Tenerife Pons Kalex). Fancied Tech 3 pairing Raffaele de Rosa and Yuki Takahashi crashed out of the thick of the action, with Axel Pons, Vladimir Leonov and Australian MZ rider Anthony West also joined the crash list. It was a fine start to the all-new series. Moto2: The right crowd ... and plenty of crowding 26