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Simoncelli takes first 250cc win in home thriller

Simoncelli takes first 250cc win in home thriller

Marco Simoncelli tasted 250cc glory for the first time at his home circuit of Mugello.

Marco Simoncelli provided the home fans with their second Italian victory of the day in the 250cc class, his first in the quarter litre category. Involved in a two-way fight with Hector Barbera for the duration of the race, a home straight crash by the Spaniard left the last lap decidedly more comfortable for the Metis Gilera rider.

Simoncelli and Barbera had exchanged harsh words and almost come to blows at last year´s visit to Mugello, but they left their latest clash until the start of the final lap. Trailing the eventual race winner, Barbera clipped his rival´s bike and was thrown off his own in a 100th Grand Prix heartbreak for the Team Toth rider.

The fall elevated Lotus Aprilia´s Alex Debon to second place, with the Le Mans racewinner himself involved in a duel with Thomas Luthi over the course of the 21 lap showdown. Missing out on second place, Luthi contented himself with a first podium in the 250cc class, from eighth on the grid.

Crashes from the likes of early leader Alvaro Bautista and front pack runners Hector Faubel, Lukas Pesek, Manuel Poggiali and Yuki Takahashi gave a welcome boost to World Championship leader Mika Kallio. The Red Bull KTM rider had a second consecutive race off the podium at a difficult track for his Austrian machinery, but still holds the advantage in the quarter litre class courtesy of fourth place.

Polaris World´s Mattia Pasini and second Metis Gilera man Roberto Locatelli added to the home presence in the top six. Cardion AB´s Czech rider Karel Abraham took a best dry result of seventh place, whilst Hiroshi Aoyama ran wide on the final lap battling with teammate Kallio and dropped down the order. Aleix Espargaro and Ratthapark Wilairot completed the first ten past the chequered flag.

Tags:
250cc, 2008, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, RAC

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