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125: Espargaro takes first win at Indy

30 August 2009

Pol Espargaro has taken his first grand prix win with a close victory over Bradley Smith in Sunday's 125cc Indianapolis Grand Prix.

2008 Indy winner Nicolas Terol shot from third to first at turn one and soon built a noticeable lead over Espargaro and Smith, prompting Smith to pass Espargaro at the end of the back straight on lap 2 of 23.

Smith bridged the gap to Terol within two laps - and pulled the rest of the pack with him, forming a close six-man lead group consisting of Terol, Smith, Simone Corsi, Espargaro, Julian Simon and Efren Vasquez (who was soon to be given a jump-start penalty).

World championship leader Simon, who began round eleven on pole and 54.5 points ahead of Terol, had slipped down to tenth through the opening turns before fighting his way forwards.

Terol continued to lead until Smith lunged inside the Jack & Jones Aprilia rider on lap 8, only to run wide over the kerbs on the exit of a turn and hand the advantage back to the Spaniard.

The Englishman made his second attempt at the lead with a slipstream pass along the home straight at the end of lap 10, but fell victim to both Terol and Espargaro when he failed to hold a tight line through turn one.

Another botched pass later in the lap saw the Aspar Aprilia rider slip to fourth behind Corsi.

All of which meant Terol maintained his position at the head of the pack until Espargaro took the lead into turn one on the penultimate lap.

Smith replicated the move to take second position from Terol at the start of the last lap, then piled pressure on Espargaro. But the 18-year-old Derbi rider - denied victory by the rain one year ago - held on by just 0.12sec. Pol's older brother Aleix will make his MotoGP debut later today.

Terol's victory hopes collapsed when a near highside dropped him to fifth, behind Simon. Terol got back past the #60 by the flag, but only gained two points on the world championship leader. Smith remains third, just one point behind Terol.

Smith's second position for Aprilia means that the Italian brand has now won its ninth 125cc constructors' world championship, with five rounds still to go.

2008 grand prix winner Scott Redding expressed his frustration at more mechanical problems with his Blusens Aprilia by putting his fist through the screen as he cruised back to the pits with smoke billowing from the rear of his bike.

Race results - Indianapolis:

1. Espargaro (Derbi)
2. Smith (Aprilia) +0.120sec
3. Corsi (Aprilia) +0.448sec
4. Terol (Aprilia) +1.613sec
5. Simon (Aprilia) +1.801sec
6. Marquez (KTM) +19.345sec
7. Bradl (Aprilia) +19.358sec
8. Olive (Derbi) +25.611sec
9. Nakagami (Aprilia) +29.240sec
10. Aegerter (Derbi) +29.707sec

11. Webb (Aprilia) +30.464sec
Redding (Aprilia) DNF