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Thomas Luthi: the surprise package from the GP Marboro de Catalunya

Thomas Luthi: the surprise package from the GP Marboro de Catalunya

Thomas Luthi: the surprise package from the GP Marboro de Catalunya

Before the sixth round of the 125cc World Championship at Catalunya this weekend, only the keenest of fans were likely to have recognised the name of Thomas Luthi. With a previous best finish of ninth, the Swiss youngster would have been an unlikely bet for his first podium on Sunday, but that is where he ended up – alongside regular top three finishers Dani Pedrosa and Alex De Angelis.

Some of the local fans will have recognised his baby-faced smile, having witnessed it at the same circuit just over a month previously, when the 16 year old took victory in the Spanish Championship. `I raced here in a round of the CEV in May so I already knew the circuit really well,´ revealed the awe-struck teenager after the race. `I have seen these guys (Pedrosa and De Angelis) on the television and I had raced them before in my head, but today I fought with them for victory. I still can´t believe it. It´s perfect, just perfect. It is my first podium and I am very, very happy.´

Luthi made his debut as a 15 year old at Sachsenring last season, riding as a replacement for the injured Jakub Smrz. He kept the ride until the end of the season although he only scored points on one occasion, taking ninth in the wet race at Estoril. He matched that best finish this season at Suzuka and Le Mans, but on Sunday he wrote a completely new chapter in Swiss motorcycling history. Strangely, the last Swiss rider to step onto a 125cc Grand Prix podium was Heinz Luthi, who took third place at Hockenheim in 1991 behind Ralf Waldmann and Loris Capirossi, although he has no relation to Thomas.

Tags:
125cc, 2003, Thomas Luthi, Thomas Lüthi

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