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Barberá eyes series lead

Barberá eyes series lead

Barberá eyes series lead

Hector Barberá returns to the venue of his maiden Grand Prix podium in buoyant mood this weekend, just over a week after emphatically announcing his arrival on the 125cc World Championship title battle scene with a stunning victory at Catalunya. The Spanish youngster is now within striking distance of Andrea Dovizioso and knows that if history repeats itself and the Italian fails to finish this weekend, as he has done for the past two seasons at Assen, the series lead could be up for grabs.

Dovizioso, who crashed out of the race here in 2003 and 2002, holds a 22-point advantage over Barberá at the top of the standings, with Roberto Locatelli a further point adrift in third place and Casey Stoner still in with a shout in fourth, just five points adrift of the veteran Italian.

Outside the top four it seems only a consistent run from Pablo Nieto, characteristically emerging strongly from the middle of the pack as he has done in the last two races to challenge for victory, could upset the title applecart, although the time may also have come for Steve Jenkner.

The veteran German said at the start of the season that this was his last tilt at the minor category title and, with a 49-point deficit to Dovizioso after just five rounds, he will know that there could be no better time to begin his charge than at the circuit where he scored his first and only Grand Prix victory to date one year ago.


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