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125: Iannone wins as Simon celebrates early!
14 June 2009
Andrea Iannone has won the 125cc Grand Prix of Catalunya after an incredible mistake by Julian Simon saw the Spaniard celebrate home 'victory' one lap early!
To make matters worse, Simon was then credited with third after realising his error and getting back on the power to complete the final lap, but a post-race examination of the photo finish saw the position taken away from him and given to his Aspar Aprilia team-mate Sergio Gadea.
Simon's only consolation is that he has now taken the world championship lead by 1.5 points from another team-mate, Bradley Smith.
Simon and Iannone had gained breathing room over the rest of the field when early leader Pol Espargaro dropped out of third place on lap 6, due to a chain problem on his Derbi.
The two leaders continued to exchange position until
the end of the race, Iannone regularly looking over at Simon as he drafted past along the home straight, while Simon's favoured passing point was under braking at the end of the back straight.
Simon had crossed the finish line on the penultimate lap with his finger raised in the air to celebrate his second victory of the season, while the Aspar team looked on in horror and frantically gestured to their rider to keep going.
Simon finally got back on the power amongst a four-rider fight for what was now second place and muscled his way through to a photo-finish for third, just behind Jack & Jones Aprilia rider Nicolas Terol.
Iannone, meanwhile, celebrated his third victory of the year by 2.2sec for Ongetta Aprilia. “Julian was really quick today and I was happy to stick with him. That's racing. I've had bad luck also this year,” said the Italian, now 12.5 points from Simon in the championship.
Smith, who began the event with a 3.5 point title lead over Simon, finished the first lap in ninth place before a mature ride to eighth on a day when he didn't have the pace to challenge for his third victory of the year.
Race results - Catalunya:
1. Iannone (Aprilia)
2. Terol (Aprilia) +2.245sec
3. Gadea (Aprilia) +2.330sec
4. Simon (Aprilia) +2.330sec
5. Marquez (KTM) +2.356sec
6. Folger (Aprilia) +2.351sec
7. Bradl (Aprilia) +10.795sec
8. Smith (Aprilia) +10.824sec
9. Cortese (Derbi) +14.984sec
10. Krummenacher (Aprilia) +15.089sec
11. Redding (Aprilia) +16.427sec
Webb (Aprilia) DNF
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