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Only Johann Zarco can stop the Spaniard taking the 2011 title, which Terol could claim at this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
After a season-long battle the race for the last-ever 125cc title could finally be decided this weekend at Sepang. With the introduction of the four-stroke Moto3 category which will replace the current two-stroke machinery in 2012, the name of this year’s 125 Champion will go down in history as another chapter closes in the annals of the World Championship.
Spaniard Nico Terol is in prime position for the honour and the Bankia Aspar rider could seal the crown this weekend. His only remaining rival for the title, Frenchman Johann Zarco, currently sits 25 points behind in the standings with two rounds remaining, and if Terol finishes this weekend’s race in front of the Avant-AirAsia-Ajo rider he will be crowned Champion. Even if both riders failed to finish the race, Terol would still take the title by virtue of his superior race win count this season. However, Zarco will not make life easy for Terol, as he has refused to do throughout the year.
Aside from the title, Terol could also pass the milestone of 1000 career points in the 125cc class, an achievement which only five other riders have managed.
While the two concentrate on the title, Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) will endeavour to consolidate third position in the standings which he took with victory last time out in Australia. The German rider, who before this season had never won a GP but now has two victories to his name, took Aprilia’s 14th win of the season in the 125cc class, equalling the record which is already held by the Italian manufacturer and which was previously set in 2007 and 2009.
Rookie Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) is almost guaranteed fourth position in what has already been a superb debut season in the World Championship, but the Spaniard can still overhaul Cortese for third as just seven points separate the pair with two races remaining.
The competition for fifth spot remains open and will be decided between Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar), Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport), although Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) could mathematically still enter the fray, a scenario which is unlikely however due to his 33-point deficit to Folger. The Spaniard has had a solid season in the World Championship, underlined by a second podium of his campaign – and career – in Australia.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) will be hopeful of an impressive home race, and will be accompanied on the track by another Malaysian rider, wildcard entry Muhamad Farid Badrul Hisham who will ride a Derbi machine under the AirAsia SLC EVO banner.
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