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GP Week : Issue 103
MotoGP reject Toni Elias alarmed his Gresini Moriwaki team when he fought title rival Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Suter) all the way to win at Motegi last week. This week he seemed willing to fight just as hard. But then Simon crashed out, the pressure was off, and for once he allowed himself to finish fourth. It was enough to secure the first Moto2 title for the 27-year-old, who already has the unique distinction of having won races in all categories – 125, 250, Moto2 and MotoGP “It’s an incredible moment for me. I only thought about the championship in the race,” he said. “Finally I am World Champion.” He dedicated the achievement to his family and also to the fallen first Moto2 race winner Shoya Tomizawa. “ This is for everybody,” he said. Simon was on pole for a second race in succession, but Thomas Luthi (Inter wetten Moriwaki) led away, Elias taking over by the end of the lap. Luthi regained the lead third time round, with Scott Redding (Marc VDS Suter) now up to fourth ahead of Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up FTR), Simon behind them. Iannone pushed through to lead from lap five to 11, Luthi crashing out on lap seven trying to get back ahead. Simon had caught and passed Elias on lap five to take third, but Elias was in front again when Simon almost crashed under braking, rejoining seventh only to crash out properly starting the next lap. The title was all but won. But now as Redding faded, soon to retire close to collapse from heat fatigue, Alex de Angelis (JiR Motobi) and Roby Rolfo (Italtrans STR Suter) were closing. Rolfo was the strongest, taking the lead on lap 12, and hanging on under severe pressure from de Angelis to win his first GP since 2004 by 0.040 of a second. Six second behind, Elias followed Iannone past the flag. Veteran Alex Debon (Aeroport de Castello FTR) narrowly prevailed over an almost race-long battle, ahead of Karel Abraham (AB Cardion FTR), Stefan Bradl (Viessman Kiefer Suter) and Dominique Aegerter (CIP Technomag Suter), crossing the line within seven tenths. Jules Cluzel (Forward Suter) had lost touch in ninth; Simone Corse (JiR Motobi) came through to tenth after starting from the back of the grid – a crash had left him unqualified. Elias is unassailable on 262 points; Simon (168) is threatened by Iannone (163). Luthi has 138, Corsi 119. Moto2: Elias stoops to conquer 125: Title tension mounts as Marvellous Marquez wins again Moto GP SEPANG >> 45