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Quarter litre category brimming with class

Quarter litre category brimming with class

With nine of the top ten riders from last year remaining in the 250cc World Championship this season, together with an influx of talented young competitors moving up from the 125cc class, the quarter litre category for 2007 looks to be one of the strongest for many years.

With nine of the top ten riders from last year remaining in the 250cc World Championship this season, together with an influx of talented young competitors moving up from the 125cc class, the quarter litre category for 2007 looks to be one of the strongest for many years.

Charting main changes in the full-time entry list in the 250cc class - from last year out go Manuel Poggiali, Luca Morelli, Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli (of course promoted to MotoGP), Jordi Carchano, Alessio Palumbo, Andrea Ballerini, Arnaud Vincent, Martin Cardenas, Chaz Davies and Sebastian Porto who retired half way through 2006.

While in come the following riders (age and nationality in brackets): Karel Abraham (17 - Czech), Ratthapark Wilairot (18 - Thai), Julian Simon (19 - Spanish), Thomas Luthi (20 - Swiss), Eugene Laverty (20 - Irish), Imre Toth (21 - Hungarian), Alvaro Bautista (22 - Spanish) and Mika Kallio (24 - Finnish), Fabrizio Lai (28 - Italian).

The gifted 17 year-old Spaniard Aleix Espargaro continues in 250cc after moving up from the 125 in the middle of last season.

With this influx of new blood, there are only three riders in the class over the age of 30 at the season-opening Commercialbank Grand Prix Of Qatar - Dirk Heidolf, Taro Sekiguchi and Roberto Locatelli, who at 32 years and 8 months of age is the oldest rider in the 250 Championship for the second year running.

The strength of the category this season is underlined by the fact that it will include five riders who have won world championship titles and thirteen riders who are Grand Prix winners in either the 250 or 125 classes.

However, despite this wealth of experience the average age of the full-time riders entered in the 250cc class in 2007 will be just 22 years and 38 weeks old at the first Grand Prix of the year, lower than it was for last year's opening race - 23 years and 2 weeks old.

Tags:
250cc, 2007, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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