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Aoyama wins epic 250cc race

Aoyama wins epic 250cc race

The 15th round of the 2009 250cc World Championship in Malaysia saw Hiroshi Aoyama prevail after an absorbing battle with Marco Simoncelli, who placed third.

Hiroshi Aoyama was the eventual victor at Sepang on Sunday after a magnificent head to head duel with Marco Simoncelli, who placed third after a photo finish was required following Héctor Barberá’s surge.

Simoncelli blasted through the field from his grid position of eighth to ignite his contest with Aoyama, with Jules Cluzel leading the early stages of the race while the title rivals sparred.

Simoncelli pushed the Japanese rider off-line on lap eight as their fight intensified, and Cluzel’s crash on lap ten took the Matteoni Racing man out of the equation, allowing the pair to go head to head.

Aoyama started to push hard and a new track record of 2’07.597 on lap 15 saw him pull away. Within another two laps Aoyama had established a three-second gap, as Barberá started to contest second position with Simoncelli.

Crossing the finish line with a 6.397s advantage, Aoyama extended his lead at the top of the championship standings to 21 points over Simoncelli, who awaited a photo-finish decision after he crossed with nothing separating him and Barberá.

The result leaves Aoyama needing a tenth-placed finish or better in Valencia to secure the 2009 title ahead of Simoncelli, while Barberá rose to third in the standings after Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Team) crashed out on lap nine.

Mike di Meglio and Mattia Pasini also succumbed to spills, as Thomas Luthi (Emmi - Caffe Latte) and Héctor Faubel (Valencia CF - Honda SAG) completed the top five.


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