250cc riders return for Sachsenring battle

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Monday, 13 July 2009

Aoyama and Bautista favourites for glory as quarter-litre class resumes.

Absent from proceedings at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, the lower cylinder categories return to action at Sachsenring this weekend. The 250cc class is not quite as tightly packed as the MotoGP standings, but has every chance of seeing surprises in Germany.

The only riders to have won more than one Grand Prix in 2009 so far, Hiroshi Aoyama and Álvaro Bautista have established themselves as the most consistent quarter-litre performers of the year. The two came together in a crash last time out at Assen when they were fighting for the lead, leaving Bautista with his first DNF of the season and Aoyama with another victory and leadership of the classification by thirteen points.

A further thirteen points split Bautista and third-placed Héctor Barberá in the standings, as they attempt to prevent a breakaway from Scot Racing Honda rider Aoyama at the top. Last year’s racewinner and World Champion, Marco Simoncelli has a near-fifty point deficit to overcome if he is to retain his crown before moving up to MotoGP, but also has fond memories of the Sachsenring circuit. His win took him to the top of the 250cc classification for the first time in his career.

Back for another bite at the podium after finishing fourth in Assen, Balatonring substitute Aleix Espargaró rides in his second 250cc race of the season.

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