Metis Gilera rider Marco Simoncelli seized the lead in the 250GP world championship with a dominant win today in a rain-hit Sachsenring GP.
Starting from pole and gambling on running a new spec factory Gilera RSA that he’d only briefly tested in Brno recently, Simoncelli eased to victory after early resistance from Spaniard Julian Simon.
Despite a good start from Simoncelli, Simon took the lead briefly before dropping back to second, giving Simoncelli the advantage again. Simon briefly took the lead before a nerve-wracking rear tyre slide saw him lose ground and Simoncelli siezed the opportunity to pass him on the outside.
With 27 laps still to go, Lotus Aprilia rider Alex Debon lost the front on the wet track and crashed out of the race. Less than a lap later, Spaniard Hector Barbera passed Simon to take second, but at the front of the race Simoncelli started to hammer home his advantage and pull away with a growing 2 second gap.
Seven laps later, Kallio moved up to second place, putting Barbera back into third. Barbera was struggling in the tough conditions and Kallio instantly started to pull away from the Spaniard. Meanwhile Simoncelli was in imperious form at the front the race as he held a massive six second lead.
With 13 laps to go, Red Bull KTM 250 rider Aoyama suffered a highside while up at the front, Simoncelli increased the gap to 7.4 seconds.
Marco Simoncelli kept up a fantastic pace throughout the race to win for a third time in 2008, and in the process he opened up an 11-point lead on KTM rival Mika Kallio.
Hector Barbera kept the pressure on Kallio and eventually passed him to finish in second place. Alvaro Bautista finished on the podium in third, with Kallio having to settle for fourth.
1 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA Metis Gilera Gilera 45'36.703
2 Hector BARBERA SPA Team Toth Aprilia Aprilia 45'38.960
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Aprilia 45'39.126
4 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM 250 KTM 45'40.853
5 Julian SIMON SPA Repsol KTM 250cc KTM 45'41.549
6 Mattia PASINI ITA Polaris World Aprilia 45'44.835
7 Thomas LUTHI SWI Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia 46'15.005
8 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Red Bull KTM 250 KTM 46'25.629
9 Yuki TAKAHASHI JPN JiR Team Scot 250 Honda 46'26.765
10 Roberto LOCATELLI ITA Metis Gilera Gilera 46'28.373
11 Alex BALDOLINI ITA Matteoni Racing Aprilia 46'45.499
12 Fabrizio LAI ITA Campetella Racing Gilera 46'45.665
13 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Lotus Aprilia Aprilia 46'48.054
14 Hector FAUBEL SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Aprilia 46'48.357
15 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Blusens Aprilia Aprilia 46'50.559
16 Ratthapark WILAIROT THA Thai Honda PTT SAG Honda 47'06.679
17 Imre TOTH HUN Team Toth Aprilia Aprilia 45'54.806
18 Alen GYORFI HUN Motorcycle Competition Service Honda 46'13.583
19 Doni Tata PRADITA INA Yamaha Pertamina Indonesia Yamaha 46'24.376
20 Toni WIRSING GER Racing Team Germany Honda 46'16.02