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Lüthi takes 125 title despite Kallio's final charge

Lüthi takes 125 title despite Kallio's final charge

Lüthi takes 125 title despite Kallio's final charge

Elit GP Honda's Thomas Lüthi secured the 125cc World Championship crown in the last race of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, which saw his title rival Mika Kallio take victory. The Red Bull KTM rider did all he could to beat Lüthi, but the Swiss rider, who only needed three points in today's race to take the title, duly obliged.

Lüthi rode a safe race and took the flag in ninth position to clinch his first World Championship crown, having edged out Kallio by just five points in the overall standings.

"It's great to sit here as the World Champion!" said Lüthi after the race. "Last year I had a very tough season, with many crashes, but I worked hard during the winter and got a new team for this season, everything worked much better, it was a great season. It's too early to believe that I have become World Champion, I think it will take me a little while to realize what it means."

Poleman Sergio Gadea was fastest off the grid but couldn't maintain his early break as Mattia Pasini put up a fierce challenge. The Italian momentarily relegated Gadea to second, but the Master Aspar rider regained the lead soon after mid-race. The two leaders were then rejoined by KTM riders Mika Kallio and Gabor Talmacsi.

After a brief dice with Kallio, Gadea pulled out a 1.5s gap and seemed on his way to his first Grand Prix win when he crashed out of the lead on lap 19. Pasini then inherited the lead, but the Italian was beaten by Kallio and Talmacsi in a breathtaking finish.

Gadea's team-mate Hector Faubel finished in fourth position ahead of Marco Simoncelli and Tomy Koyama, who clinched the ‘Rookie of the Year' title by securing 8th in the Championship with his sixth position in today's race. The Japanese rider was followed home by Fabrizio Lai and Julian Simon, while Pablo Nieto took the flag just behind Lüthi to complete the top 10.

With Kallio's win, KTM secured its first manufacturers' crown in road racing. The Austrian factory, who made their Grand Prix debut in 2003, beat Honda by 28 points and is the first manufacturer other than Aprilia or Honda to be crowned since Derbi's last win in the Constructors' Championship in 1988.


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