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Aoyama holds out for 250cc win at drying Donington

Aoyama holds out for 250cc win at drying Donington

Japanese Scot Racing rider takes third win of 2009 at British track.

Hiroshi Aoyama came out on top in the 250cc battle of Britain, as Donington Park dried out and gave a headache for the title contenders.

The tyre choice for the start of the British Grand Prix was in no doubt: the declaration of a wet race meant that the softer and cut tyres would be the rubber for the opening laps. Before the halfway mark, however, the asphalt had dried, leaving a big decision as to whether to come in, miss a lap and attempt to recover time on slick tyres, or risk a slip-up on the notoriously treacherous Midlands track.

Aoyama had a pair of near-misses, but managed the degradation of his Dunlops to perfection as none of the big guns elected to make a switch. Backmarkers and riders attempting to unlap themselves came into play, but Aoyama remained cool to add to his win total and World Championship lead.

Title rival Álvaro Bautista reduced a seven-second lead to just three with a handful of laps remaining, but remained out of touching distance as he encountered a hoard of riders on dry weather tyres. The Mapfre Aspar rider had started from fourth on the grid, his first time off the front row in 2009.

Mattia Pasini bounced back from a crash to take the final podium spot. The Italian fell with eleven laps remaining when battling with Alex Debón, sliding off at Melbourne. Debón also took a tumble some ten seconds later, but both rejoined the race without having been passed.

Fourth place went to reigning World Champion Marco Simoncelli, ahead of Mike di Meglio with Debón sixth. The highest placing rider to switch to slicks was Karel Abraham, who finished fourteenth after crashing, changing tyres and setting the fastest lap of the race.

Aoyama now leads Bautista by fifteen points in the overall classification.


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