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Last year at Phillip Island

Last year at Phillip Island

Last year at Phillip Island

The 125cc race in Australia last year was survived and won by Andrea Ballerini who cut his way through a rain-lashed, cold and windy track to take his first ever victory. Ballerini, the former European Champion, had not even scored points previously that season but held his nerve in an event which essentially was not about who crashed out, but who didn't.

Andrea Dovizioso was the first entrant into the quagmire that the grassy expanses of Phillip Island disguised half way through the first lap. The Italian took no further part in the race and the same fate befell Casey Stoner, who led for the first six laps before a highside threw him into the mud for his second consecutive dnf while fighting for positions at the front.

Stefano Perugini then assumed the spray-free advantage at the front but was soon reeled in by Ajo Honda team-mates Ballerini and Masao Azuma, clearly enjoying a Bridgestone tyre advantage. The Italian was relegated to second by Ballerini after a brief dice before also deciding to leave the circuit and retired with an Aprilia full of dirt.

Mika Kallio also slid out and was followed three laps later by KTM team-mate Roberto Locatelli, whilst Lucio Cecchinello, Pablo Nieto and Mirko Giansanti all went down in the later stages of the race.

With Ballerini controlling affairs with five laps to go and Azuma looking secure in second, attention drifted back to Steve Jenkner in third who was being rapidly caught by Alvaro Bautista. The 125cc Spanish Champion scored his best ever result with fourth position after just failing to pip the German at the finish line.

Tags:
125cc, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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