250cc class prepares for Italian visit

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Monday, 25 May 2009

Quarter-litre category close at the top heading to Mugello.

Just like in MotoGP, the current series leader in the 250cc class has no room for complacency heading to the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice. Álvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama have spent the past few races trading places at the head of the classification, although both failed to finish on the podium at the last round in France.

A solitary point splits the Spaniard and his Japanese rival, but it is Bautista who holds the better record at Mugello. The Mapfre Aspar rider took his first 250cc victory at the track in 2007, and started from pole in 2008 although he failed to finish the race.

Aoyama has been a rejuvenated force since his move to Scot Racing Honda for the current campaign, and has proven more than a match for Bautista over the past month. The duo are nearly twenty points ahead of third-placed Héctor Barberá in the standings.

Reigning World Champion Marco Simoncelli won last year at Mugello, and also dominated the recent French round at Le Mans to take his first victory of the year. As in 2008, the Italian is playing catch-up after a disastrous start to the year.

Raffaele de Rosa and Roberto Locatelli head to their home race inside the top six after great results in France. Locatelli returned to the podium for the first time since 2006, whilst De Rosa took sixth place onboard the second Scot Racing Honda machine.

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