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Spanish rookies make impressive start

Spanish rookies make impressive start

Of the eight rookies who last weekend began their first full seasons in the 125cc World Championship at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, the Spanish pair of Pol Espargaro and Esteve Rabat were perhaps the two youngsters who made the biggest impressions.

Of the eight rookies who last weekend began their first full seasons in the 125cc World Championship at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, the Spanish pair of Pol Espargaro and Esteve Rabat were perhaps the two youngsters who made the biggest impressions.

At just 15 years of age, Pol Espargaro - younger brother of 250cc rider Aleix - is already a Grand Prix phenomenon. Last year he won the Spanish national 125cc title whilst also arriving on the World Championship scene as a wild card at Catalunya, where he became the youngest rider in history to score points in a Grand Prix. He competed in the last five races of the season with Campetella as a replacement for Andrea Iannone, who suffered a season-curtailing back injury.

Espargaro did enough in those appearances to earn a full-time position with Belson Campetella Aprilia for the current campaign and, on the evidence of his showing in Qatar in the first race of the season where he finished a creditable seventh, has a great chance of winning the 2007 ‘Rookie of the Year' title.

Another rider who is in with a shout of taking that honour, Repsol Honda's Esteve Rabat, did battle with Espargaro last season in the Spanish CEV Championship and at Losail last weekend the pair were in direct competition once more, for the seventh position which Espargaro eventually secured over his rival by less than one tenth of a second.

For the additional new faces embarking on a first complete campaign in the 125cc category, the first outings of the year were not quite as successful. Swiss pair Randy Krummenacher and Dominique Aegerter, along with Steve Bonsey and Hugo van den Berg, were amongst the final group of six riders to cross the finishing line, all over a minute behind winner Hector Faubel.

Meanwhile, young Englishman Danny Webb and Romanian Robert Muresan will both be hoping for better luck at Jerez for round two, with Webb unable to finish due to an electronics fault with his Honda machinery and Muresan also unable to complete the race due to technical difficulties.

Tags:
125cc, 2007, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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