Bautista leads home 250cc charge to Jerez

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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Spaniard one point clear in title hunt after first victory in Japan.

The 250cc class has traditionally been one of the strongest categories for Spanish riders, and the 2009 lineup sees a home rider at the head of the classification for the Gran Premio bwin.com de España. Álvaro Bautista holds the advantage in the quarter-litre category after victory in Japan, and now heads to the track at which he took his first podium in the series back in 2007.

Bautista last won a race in Jerez en route to the 125cc title in 2006, but came close last year in an epic showdown with Marco Simoncelli. Both riders crashed out after an engine failure for Mapfre Aspar man Bautista, something for which the Spaniard will be keen to make amends this time around.

A Spanish resident, Hiroshi Aoyama follows a home Grand Prix at Motegi with another ‘local’ race. Scot Racing’s Japanese star took second place to Bautista last Sunday, and will look to do what the Spaniard managed –spoiling the home celebrations- as he aims to overcome a deficit of a single point in the standings.

Also in with a chance of leaving Jerez at the head of the leaderboard, Héctor Barberá is a further three points down in the title chase. Another home participant, the Pepe World rider followed up his Qatar win with a problematic race in Japan, but had a strong testing outing at this week’s Grand Prix location last month.

Reigning World Champion Simoncelli is yet to claim his first points of the year, but joins the likes of Gabor Talmacsi, Mattia Pasini and Mike di Meglio as expected aspirants for glory.

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