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Simoncelli ends title-winning year with Valencia victory

Simoncelli ends title-winning year with Valencia victory

2008 World Champion wins 250cc race in Valencia after frantic final lap.

2008 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli brought his title-winning season to a perfect conclusion in Valencia, taking victory from pole position at the Spanish track. The Metis Gilera rider faced stiff competition from Mika Kallio in the duo´s final duel in the quarter-litre class, but a last lap fall from the Finn left the Italian with room to breathe on the final corners of 2008 campaign.

Running a special livery to commemorate his title triumph, Simoncelli made the most of the superior drive of his Gilera RSA keep distance between himself and the Red Bull KTM man, but his sixth win of the year seemed to be under threat as Kallio continued to set new lap records. A memorable race for Simoncelli was one to forget for Kallio, who tests an 800cc bike for the first time on Monday for Ducati.

Yuki Takahashi, another rider heading to the premier class for 2009, took advantage of Kallio´s fall from nearly five seconds behind, moving up into the runner-up spot. The JiR Team Scot man gave his 250cc team a happy sendoff with his third rostrum of the year.

Alvaro Bautista completed the podium at his home race, having had a bad start to the Valencia date. He was held up early on by Simoncelli´s teammate Roberto Locatelli, who was on a tear for fourth –his best result of the year.

Falls for Alex Debon and Julian Simon moved several riders in the top ten up places, with Hiroshi Aoyama the highest placing KTM rider in the factory´s final 250cc race. Hector Faubel took his best placing of the season, whilst Aleix Espargaro, Ratthapark Wilairot, Mattia Pasini and Thomas Luthi also made their mark. Kallio remounted for eleventh place.


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