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First chance for Simon to clinch title

First chance for Simon to clinch title

With a 57.5 point lead at the head of the 125cc championship standings, following his victory at Misano, Julian Simon could take the title at round 14.

For Bancaja Aspar’s Julian Simon the decision to move back down to the 125cc class from 250cc competition this year has paid off in style and the Spanish rider could clinch the title at the next round in Portugal if results go his way.

By finishing either first or second at Estoril, depending on where his closest championship challengers finish, Simon could become World Champion for the first time – having already won four races and achieved nine podiums so far in a brilliant 2009 campaign.

If he wins the Estoril race and Nico Terol finishes no higher than ninth and Bradley Smith finishes no higher than fifth or if Simon finishes second with Terol no higher than 14th and Bradley Smith no better than ninth, that will be enough to secure the 125cc crown.

In all likelihood Simon may have to wait a while longer to finish the job – his best result to date at Estoril is fifth in 2006 in the 125cc class – but he needs to score just 43 points from the remaining four races to secure the title, irrespective of the results of other riders.

For current runner-up Terol, meanwhile, his third place last year in Portugal was his first point-scoring finish at the Estoril circuit. The Spaniard is on a run of eight successive top four results this year and he would more than deserve finishing second overall.

It is fair to say that Estoril is not the favourite circuit of Simon’s team-mate Smith, with the Briton registering his best result at the track in 2007 in 12th place. Smith crashed out last year having caught the leading group from 13th on the grid, but he is currently in good form after two consecutive podiums and he’ll be confident of bettering his previous Portuguese best.

Also in the current top five are Simon and Smith’s colleague Sergio Gadea and Italian rider Andrea Iannone – whose main aim will simply be to avoid any controversy in Portugal after he let himself down at Misano with some aggressive riding and some subsequently self-acknowledged unsporting behaviour.

Iannone clashed with Pol Espargaro last time out and the young Spaniard, who is sixth in the standings, got his first GP podium at Estoril two years ago.

Tags:
125cc, 2009, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL

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