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Indy race debut ahead for majority of 250cc field

Indy race debut ahead for majority of 250cc field

The cancellation of last year’s 250cc contest at Indianapolis due to weather conditions means the majority of the quarter litre class grid will be making their IMS race debuts on Sunday.

For 250cc standings leader Hiroshi Aoyama and the majority of his World Championship rivals this Sunday’s race will be their first ever at The Brickyard, after last year’s cancellation of the intermediate category’s racing due to the intervention of Hurricane Ike at the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

With six rounds remaining Aoyama’s closest threat for the championship lead comes from Álvaro Bautista, who has just announced that he will move into MotoGP with Suzuki in 2010. Japanese rider Aoyama could be making the move up to the premier class too, but first comes the business of this year’s World title, with Indianapolis next up.

Scot Racing’s Aoyama, who was fourth at Brno in the last round, holds a 12 point lead over Spaniard Bautista, with the Mapfre Apsar rider having closed the gap slightly with his third place finish in the Czech Republic.

World Champion Marco Simoncelli re-emerged in the title race at Brno with his third victory of the year, as he seeks to defend his crown before joining San Carl Honda Gresini in MotoGP next year. Simoncelli would have started last year’s 250cc Indy race in pole position had it not been cancelled and he will aim for another high level performance as he seeks to chase down a 32 point deficit against Aoyama.

Héctor Barberá trails Simoncelli by a further 17 points in fourth place in the standings and he qualified in second place last year at Indianapolis, before a serious back injury ended his season prematurely at the subsequent round in Japan. The Spaniard has bravely returned to action this year and earned himself a MotoGP ride with the new Ducati-Aspar team for 2010.

In fifth place in the championship, Italian rider Mattia Pasini has just had a first ever taste of MotoGP himself, riding for Pramac Racing in the Monday test in the Czech Republic – having crossed the line just 0.684s behind compatriot Simoncelli in second position in the 250cc Brno race.

The category’s current top ten also comprises Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Racing), Alex Debon (Aeropuerto-Castello-Blusens), Héctor Faubel (Valencia CF - Honda SAG), Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera) and Thomas Luthi (Emmi - Caffe Latte) – and they will all feature on Friday at Indy in the first 250cc free practice session, at 3.10pm local time.

Tags:
250cc, 2009, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX

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