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Home favourites head scrap for second

Home favourites head scrap for second

Home favourites head scrap for second

The 125cc World Championship has been decided but the scrap for second place is very much on, with two home favourites looking to stake their claim at Valencia.

Whilst Andrea Dovizioso clinched the title two races ago in Malaysia and has the chance to set the second highest points total ever in the class behind Valentino Rossi this weekend, Jorge Lorenzo and Hector Barberá trail Roberto Locatelli by three and five points respectively in the chase for the prestigious runner-up spot.

On current form, Lorenzo heads into the final round as favourite over Barberá. As well as the two-point advantage he holds over his compatriot, the 17 year old has finished on the podium five times in the last seven races, including two victories.

In that same time Barberá has finished just four races and only one of those was on the podium, his victory at Estoril standing out from a run of miserable results which saw him fall away from the title chase after emerging as Dovizioso's main rival at the midway stage. Barberá, who finished third last year in Valencia after running off track in a last-corner battle for victory with Casey Stoner, celebrates his 18th birthday two days after the Grand Prix.

Stoner looks to have secured fifth in the championship thanks to his welcome return to form, the Australian scoring a victory and third place from the last two rounds after a run of six races without a point. Stoner's victory last season was the first of his career and he is one of three riders to have won at Valencia on an Aprilia, following on from Gianluigi Scalvini in 1999 and Roberto Locatelli in 2000.

Whilst the quest for victory seems to be between the top five in the championship, the final round of the season holds a certain significance for several riders further down the field. With the rule change for next year limiting the age of riders in the 125cc class to 28 years old, there will be several long time competitors having their last outing in the class at Valencia. Mirko Giansanti, Stefano Perugini, Roberto Locatelli, Steve Jenkner, Gino Borsoi, Max Sabbatani and Andrea Ballerini will all have to move on to pastures new in 2005.

Meanwhile, several home riders will be looking to shine at their home track, with four local wildcards boosting the regular Spanish representation in the 125cc class to twelve riders.

Tags:
125cc, 2004, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA

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