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Simoncelli stars to win 250cc Motegi race

Simoncelli stars to win 250cc Motegi race

Marco Simoncelli raised his 250cc victory total to four with a win from pole in Japan.

Marco Simoncelli took victory number four of his 2008 season, his second from pole position, in Japan to extend his lead in the 250cc World Championship and draw one step closer to his first quarter-litre title. He did so ahead of Spanish rival Alvaro Bautista.

Simoncelli had attempted to break free from the pack, but was chased down by first Julian Simon and subsequently Bautista, who laid down some blistering times en route to catching the Metis Gilera rider. With less than ten laps to go, Bautista had already broken Shinya Nakano´s circuit record from 2000 on multiple occasions, and set about putting on the pressure with the victory at stake.

Unfortunately for Bautista, his push coincided with the frontrunners encountering the backmarkers, and trying to get past 250cc debutant Daniel Arcas and wildcard Takumi Endoh the leading duo were broken up. Amidst the confusion Simoncelli was able to put the required distance between himself and his Spanish rival -even with Bautista breaking the lap record again on his final attempt- and brought his Gilera machine home first in Japan.

Bautista had signaled to Alex Debon that he should hang on his tail as he passed his fellow countryman on lap ten, and the experienced Lotus Aprilia rider made the most of the draft to catch up with Repsol KTM man Simon. He took his fourth podium of the year, denying Simon his first quarter-litre rostrum.

Title challenger Mika Kallio and home rider Yuki Takahashi completed the top six, ahead of Aleix Espargaro, Mattia Pasini, Hiroshi Aoyama and Roberto Locatelli.


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