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Mika Kallio set to defend his first ever championship lead in 125

Mika Kallio set to defend his first ever championship lead in 125

Mika Kallio set to defend his first ever championship lead in 125

Mika Kallio will defend the lead of the championship for the very first time in his career this weekend as the 2005 MotoGP Word Championship moves on to China.

After taking second place in the first instalment of race action in Jerez, the Red Bull KTM rider went on to claim victory at Estoril after a spectacular photo-finish battle with Spaniard Hector Faubel, making history as the first Finish rider to win a grand prix in 30 years.

Not only did the win catapult Kallio into first place in the standings, giving him a 14-point lead, but it simultaneously boosted his Austrian factory KTM – for the first time since debuting in 2003 – into joint-first place in the Manufacturer's Championship. KTM shares the lead with Aprilia and both are currently tied on 45 points.

Marco Simoncelli ( Race) took victory ahead of Kallio in the first round at Jerez. The Italian then went on to have a disappointing Portuguese GP and will be striving to bounce back in China and maintain his presence at the front.

Hector Faubel (Master Aspar) took second, after Kallio, at Estoril and will try to reaffirm his capability by staying with the front pack and chasing victory. Italians Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing) and Mattia Pasini (NGS Totti Top Sport) are also potential threats to the front-runners.

After a sluggish start in Spain, former World Champion Manuel Poggiali showed signs of improvement by taking fifth in Estoril. Thomas Lüthi (Elit Grand Prix) also started to catch up with the front-runners. Having failed to complete the first race due to a technical issue, he went on to score his first podium of the season in Portugal.

Another man to watch in Shanghai will be Gabor Talmacsi, who crashed out of the lead on lap 2 at Estoril. Several local riders will join the GP regulars in China: Cheung Wai On, Ho Wan and You Rao Zhou.

125cc, 2005, TAOBAO.COM GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Mika Kallio

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