Bradley Smith finished a fantastic second today in Le Mans in a shortened 125GP
French MotoGP: Bradley Smith takes fantastic second in five-lap dash 125GP
18 May 2008 11:11
Bradley Smith has finished a fantastic and emotional second in a five-lap dash 125GP race in Le Mans today to take the best finish of his career.
And there was more emotion from French rider Mike Di Meglio recorded his first ever victory and became the first Frenchman to win on home soil since 1979.
The 125GP was run over a five-lap dash after the original race was red flagged before the two thirds distance.
Smith had not started so well in the first race, but was determined not to make the same mistake twice and muscled his way through to make this one count.
Joan Olive had been leading going into lap 15 when the race was stopped and so he was now the pole sitter with Britain’s Bradley Smith ninth and Danny Webb 13th. Scott Redding had crashed out of the first attempt and so wasn’t allowed to take to the grid again as he wasn’t classified as a finisher from the first part.
Nicholas Terol went into the lead initially but it was Rabat who went into the lead in the first corner before sliding off his Repsol KTM. He did get going again but this left Terol in the lead again with Britain’s Smith in third.
Reigning 125GP champion Gabor Talmacsi showed his all weather class as he took the lead leaving others behind him to try and see through his spray.
Frenchman Masbou was the next to slide off as Terol took Smith’s first place going into lap two.
But on lap two Smith was back up to third, and was hoping to repeat his first podium place there last season. Gabor Talmacsi was holding on to the lead on his Aprilia with Terol behind him. But even a champion cannot overcome the wet as he slid off.
Bradley Smith kept his head as Talmacsi got back on his motorcycle to head into the lead after Terol had had to brake to avoid hitting the sliding Talmacsi.
And Bradley put in the fastest lap on lap three as Frances Mike Di Meglio was chasing the Oxfordshire rider.
Di Meglio put in a faster time of 1:59.8 on lap three and also too Smith’s lead going into lap four as the charging Frenchman could spy for a home victory.
Heading into the last lap the rain started to fall in earnest again and Smith was just over half a second behind Di Meglio with Nicholas Terol behind him in third. Britain’s other rider in this shortened race, Danny Webb, was 22nd.
And the fairytale became reality for France as Di Meglio took the chequered flag to win his first ever race at his home track and the first French win in France since 1979. This was also enough to put the Ajo Motorsport rider onto the top of the championship table by eight points.
The 20-year-old was congratulated on his return to Parc Ferme by fellow countryman Randy de Puniet to put an even bigger smile on his face.
Bradley Smith was equally as thrilled by taking his best ever race finish in second while Terol was third.
This is of course Smith's second podium of the season following his third place in Jerez and the teenager has made no secret of the fact he was keen to get back on the rostrum following the two non finishes in the last coupld of 125GPs.
French MotoGP 125 race results:
1 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Ajo Motorsport DERBI 10'08.574
2 Bradley SMITH GBR Polaris World APRILIA 10'09.374
3 Nicolas TEROL SPA Jack & Jones WRB APRILIA 10'11.651
4 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Belson Derbi DERBI 10'18.981
5 Andrea IANNONE ITA I.C. Team APRILIA 10'20.271
6 Stefan BRADL GER Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing APRILIA 10'20.455
7 Lorenzo ZANETTI ITA ISPA KTM Aran KTM 10'24.946
8 Joan OLIVE SPA Belson Derbi DERBI 10'25.119
9 Raffaele DE ROSA ITA Onde 2000 KTM KTM 10'27.737
10 Randy KRUMMENACHE SWI Red Bull KTM 125 KTM 10'30.965
11 Sandro CORTESE GER Emmi - Caffe Latte APRILIA 10'31.421
12 Pere TUTUSAUS SPA Bancaja Aspar Team APRILIA 10'31.769
13 Simone CORSI ITA Jack & Jones WRB APRILIA 10'32.127
14 Gabor TALMACSI HUN Bancaja Aspar Team APRILIA 10'32.269
15 Alexis MASBOU FRA Loncin Racing LONCIN 10'32.814
16 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN I.C. Team APRILIA 10'34.770
17 Esteve RABAT SPA Repsol KTM 125cc KTM 10'34.985
18 Roberto LACALENDOLA ITA Matteoni Racing APRILIA 10'35.469
19 Louis ROSSI FRA FFM Honda GP 125 HONDA 10'36.020
20 Sergio GADEA SPA Bancaja Aspar Team APRILIA 10'40.403
21 Danny WEBB GBR Degraaf Grand Prix APRILIA 10'43.384
22 Robert MURESAN ROU Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing APRILIA 10'43.764
23 Dominique AEGERTER SWI Ajo Motorsport DERBI 10'56.414