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The curse of the 125 class

The curse of the 125 class

The curse of the 125 class

When way back in July of 2002Arnaud Vincent crossed the line at the Sachsenring in Germany to take his second successive win in the 125cc class, nobody could have imagined that it would he would spark off one of the most bizarre and enduring streaks in modern motorcycling. For since then, no rider in the 125 category has managed to take back-to-back victories in a run that now stretches back over three years and some 55 races.

In that sequence there have been 21 different winners in the minor class; Cecchinello, Vincent, Azuma, Pedrosa, Poggiali, Perugini, Jenkner, Barbera, Nieto, Lorenzo, Ballerini, Stoner, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Locatelli, Kallio, Pasini, Luthi, Talmacsi, Simon and Di Meglio, with 14 of them having experienced victory for the very first time; Jenkner, Barbera, Nieto, Lorenzo, Ballerini, Stoner, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Kallio, Pasini, Luthi, Talmacsi, Simon y Di Meglio.

Over the past couple of seasons nobody has been able to break the curse despite a number of riders enjoying multiple wins. In 2003 Pedrosa notched up five triumphs, with Andrea Dovizioso achieving the same feat the following year. Last season Thomas Luthi managed four victories on his way to the title, although once again he could not muster consecutive successes.

There are various possible explanations for the streak. For one, many talented riders have left the class to move up to the 250s with the likes of Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Stoner and Lorenzo all likely to have broken the record had they remained in the 125s. But perhaps a more compelling argument is the undoubted competitiveness of the minor class with a host of riders all capable of making the podium at every race.

In 2005 there were a total of seven different victors in the 16 rounds. Of them, six claimed their maiden Grand Prix win, while a total of 12 different riders made the podium in what was a typically hard-fought and exciting campaign.

Another French rider, Mike Di Meglio, had the chance to end the cycle started by Vincent by taking victory in the final GP of the 2005 season, which took place back in November. Di Meglio had taken his first victory in Turkey two weeks earlier but was unable to repeat the dose and Mika Kallio ensured yet again that a different rider took his place on the top step of the podium. Maybe the Finn will finally end the curse by winning the first round of the 2006 season in Jerez.

MotoGP, 2005

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