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GP Week : Issue 103
Teenage tyro Marc Marquez regained the lead in the tensest title tussle of all, after biding his time in a nailbiting first race of the day, then making a run after half distance to put a worthwhile gap on his pursuing title rivals. The 17-year-old Red Bull Derbi rider had qualified on pole for the tenth time, and he off the line. But by the end of the first lap championship rival Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar Aprilia) had seized a lead of one second and was trying to run away, while Marquez was fourth behind third title contender Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Derbi) and Bradley Smith (Aspar Aprilia). Before half distance Smith had dropped away slightly to come under attack from second Tuenti rider Efren Vazquez and Sandro Cortese (Mitsubishi Derbi); while Marquez and Espargaro had both taken a turn at leading the front trio. But the front five would close up again, giving Marquez the signal to regain the lead tenth time round from Terol, and start to use his speed advantage. He set fastest laps (short of the record) on the 12th and 13th laps, and stretched away by about half a second a lap to win by 2.3 seconds. The 25 points put him back on top. On that same tenth lap, Espargaro wrested second from Terol, and after a long scrap managed to escape to keep his own title hopes alive. Three seconds behind Vazquez finally prevailed in a lively scrap, from Smith and Cortese. Miles behind, Tito Rabat (Blusens Aprilia) had a lone ride to seventh. The next battling trio needed a video finish to determine a result. Luis Salom (Stipa Molenaar Aprilia and Tomoyoshi Koyama (Germany Aprilia) had identical times, but judges gave it to Salom, whose team- mate Randy Krummenacher was four hundredths behind. Danny Webb (Cajasol Aprilia) crashed out of this chase group before half distance, and was stretchered to the medical centre. Marquez’s eighth win gave him a three- point lead, 247 points to Terol’s 244, with Espargaro 235. Smith (171) and Cortese (132) dispute fourth. 125: Title tension mounts as Marvellous Marquez wins again 44