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The battle for Pedrosa's 250cc crown

The battle for Pedrosa's 250cc crown

The battle for Pedrosa's 250cc crown

With the start of the 250cc season this Sunday in Jerez, a host of contenders are in the frame for Dani Pedrosa's vacant title. Preseason results suggest that the fight for victory will be centred in the official Aprilia team. Jorge Lorenzo and Hector Barbera are the two big favourites in the quarter litre category, along with new Aspar Team rider Alex de Angelis. Amongst the Honda riders there are a few dark horses that could come out of the woodwork for the GP de España. Throughout the final test at the Andalucian circuit, Yuki Takahashi showed himself to be the fastest of the Japanese factory's riders, ahead of challengers Andrea Dovizioso and Sebas Porto.

The curtain-raiser will also be a chance to see if some of the winter's surprise packages can maintain their good form. Czech sensation Jakub Smrz, Anthony West, experienced rider Roberto Locatelli and category debutante Marco Simoncelli will be hoping to build on recent performances.

The KTM 250cc project is also attracting a lot of interest. The Austrian factory have put their faith in young riders Manuel Poggiali and Hiroshi Aoyama for 2006.

With a largely unchanged grid and the category jump taken by both Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, the 250cc class promises to be more wide open than ever.

250cc, 2006, GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA, Dani Pedrosa

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