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GP Week : Issue 116
It looked as though it would be like the three races so far: Nico terol on pole, leading away, then kicking away to win by miles. But fellow-Spaniard Maverick Vinales, a rookie in only his fourth GP, was having none of it. The 16-year-old, riding in the Paris Hilton-backed Blusens Aprilia team, did more than merely dog his footsteps. He nosed ahead once before half distance, then again for five laps in the later stages. With four laps left the experienced Terol, in his 100th GP, moved his Bankia Aspar Aprilia back ahead, and would surely push clear. No way. Vinales stayed right with him, and through the last tight corners of the Mickey Mouse Bugatti circuit he pushed him so hard that Terol ran marginally wide into the final hairpin. And Vinales was through, to win by 0.048 of a second. He was almost speechless; Terol looking glum as they were joined on the rostrum by compatriot Efren Vazquez (Avant AirAsia Derbi), finally triumphant in a five-way battle that lasted almost the whole race. Behind him Hector Faubel (Bankia Aspar Aprilia), Johann Zarco (Avant AirAsia Derbi), Jonas Folger (Red Bull Aprilia) and Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Aprilia) finished in close line astern, having been back and forth throughout. Some way back Sergio Gadea, Vinales team-mate, was a lone eighth, well clear of rookie Miguel Oliviera (Andalucia Banca Aprilia), a distant Luis Salom (RW Aprilia) finished the top ten. There was only one faller, rookie Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Aprilia); while both Mahindra riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter were among four retirements. Terol’s title lead is still huge: 95 points to Cortese’s 59. Zarco is on 53, Folger 52 and Vazquez 46. New boy Vinales has 45. 125: Maverick bursts Terol’s bubble 28