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Qatar to initiate battle for vacant 125cc crown

Qatar to initiate battle for vacant 125cc crown

The opening race of the 2010 World Championship at the Losail International Circuit will provide the first round of the battle to succeed Julián Simón.

Pre-season states that Marc Márquez will be the rider to watch at the Commercialbank Grand Prix in Qatar on Sunday, after the Spanish 125cc rider made a grand statement of intent with his superb pre-season form in the lead-up to the first race of the World Championship.

The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider found a superb level of comfort with his new Derbi machine throughout the Official Tests during the winter, finishing each of the three at the top of the timesheet, thus demonstrating his preparedness to take the next step in his young career.

At the same time Márquez also has a lot of learning still to do with just two podiums from his two seasons in the Championship to date, and he was unable to finish last year’s race at Losail. Not to mention that there are a number of other suitors to the title.

British rider Bradley Smith of the Bancaja Aspar team enters his fifth season in the 125cc World Championship, and after a close battle with former team-mate and 2009 title winner Julián Simón he will know exactly what it takes to last the distance. Smith has not been particularly fast in pre-season Testing, but his ability to reach the level required when the red lights go out in Qatar is undoubted.

The fight for the title promises to be extremely close, as three other riders have also put their names forward as strong candidates in Spanish trio Pol Espargaró, Efrén Vázquez (both Tuenti Racing) and Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar).

Others with experience in the category and who will be contesting for podium finishes include Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Esteve Rabat (Blusens STX).

And as is the tradition, and function of, the 125cc category there will be a number of debutants in the World Championship, with Malaysian rider Muhammad Zulfahmi (AirAsia – Sepang International Circuit) and 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner Czech youngster Jakub Kornfeil (Racing Team Germany) making their bows.

The first hour-long 125cc practice of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar begins at 8pm local time on Friday evening, with the race due to commence at 8pm local time on Sunday.


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