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Formidable Simón dominating 125cc championship

Formidable Simón dominating 125cc championship

This is the story so far of the 2009 125cc season, with Julián Simón well in control of the title race.

Julián Simón’s decision to move back down into the 125cc class this season, after two years in the 250cc category, has paid massive dividends for the 22 year-old Spaniard – who has won four races so far in 2009 and is 57.5 points clear of his nearest rival in the standings.

Simón came into the highly professional and successful Bancaja Aspar set-up looking good during preseason testing and nine podium finishes in twelve races have put him on the brink of his first ever title. Such has been his dominance, Simón could theoretically win the championship at the next round in Estoril with three rounds to spare, depending on the results of his closest rivals.

The good recent form of Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team) and Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar), however, is likely to mean Simón will have to keep his concentration a while longer to finish the job.

Terol made a slow start to the season but soon found his results improving after a solid second place finish at Mugello. Since then he has collected three further podium finishes, a race victory at Brno and eight consecutive top fives, placing him second overall in the standings, five points ahead of Smith.

After initially looking like he might run new Bancaja Aspar team-mate Simón close for the title, with the first two wins of his career in the opening five rounds (at Jerez and Mugello), Smith was let down by crashes at Sachsenring and then Donington at his home race.

Simón and Smith’s colleague Sergio Gadea sits fourth in the standings having achieved a victory at Assen, second place at Jerez and third at Le Mans, but having also been hampered by two accidents at Donington and Indianapolis, as well as a quartet of finishes outside the top ten.

Andrea Iannone started the season brilliantly with a win in a rain-affected and shortened race in Qatar and another victory at Motegi and he also won in Barcelona but his results have otherwise been patchy and he let himself down with a ‘headbutt’ gesture and some harsh words towards Pol Espargaró after the pair crashed together in Misano recently. Iannone was fined $5,000 by Race Direction and issued a full apology the following day.

Espargaró, meanwhile, lies sixth overall, just behind Iannone in the championship, and having got the first victory of his career at Indy he was unlucky to get tangled up with the Italian when he looked set for another triumph at Misano.

Young riders Marc Marquez and Jonas Folger have gained crucial experience this year and both occupy top ten spots, in seventh and tenth respectively, sandwiching Germans Sandro Cortese and Stefan Bradl in the standings.

125cc, 2009

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