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125: Terol wins as Zarco loses out again

4 September 2011

125cc World Championship leader Nico Terol took a strange victory in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix - after passing title rival Johann Zarco just metres from the flag.

The strange part was that Zarco exited the final turn several bike-lengths ahead and looked to have his first win in the bag.

But rather than tucking behind the fairing and racing for the line, he instead turned to look back at Terol on several occasions (pictured), and even tried to push the Spaniard away with his hand!

Terol simply rode around him and won his seventh race of the year by just 0.022sec, extending his title lead over Zarco from 26 to 31 points.

Zarco looked shattered after the latest in a string of near-wins: The Ajo Derbi rider was denied victory after a post-race penalty at Catalunya, lost a tie-break at Sachsenring and then came off worse in a last turn showdown at Brno.

Zarco explained: "I knew that Terol was faster on the straight and I didn't leave the last corner so fast so I knew he could pass me. That is why I was so angry. I'm disappointed but after a bad race at Indy I've shown I can still fight for victory."

Terol had burst from third on the grid to first into turn one, while pole sitter Zarco fluffed the start and made contact with two riders in his desperate efforts to reduce the damage.

Back up to fourth by the end of the first lap, Zarco and team-mate Efren Vazquez then moved past Sandro Cortese and set off in pursuit of Terol.

They soon caught the Aspar Aprilia rider, with Vasquez then dropping back, creating a straight fight for victory between the title contenders.

Terol continued to lead until lap 18 of 23, when Zarco moved ahead - then appeared to sit up and hand the advantage back to Terol.

The cat-and-mouse continued until Terol retook the lead along the home straight at the start of the penultimate lap, when both riders began pushing flat out.

Terol was still leading as the final lap began, but was passed by Zarco early in the lap.

Terol then squeezed inside Zarco at Turn 14 and pushed them both wide. Zarco held on around the outside and looked to have done enough to win.

Joining them on the podium was Vazquez, who finished 4.932sec from victory.

Race results:

1. Terol (Aprilia) 23 laps
2. Zarco (Derbi) +0.022s
3. Vazquez (Derbi) +4.932s
4. Cortese (Aprilia) +9.322s
5. Faubel (Aprilia) +9.964s
6. Kent (Aprilia) +12.100s
7. Vinales (Aprilia) +12.324s
8. Gadea (Aprilia) +12.556s
9. Folger (Aprilia) +21.489s
10. Oliveira (Aprilia) +30.678s

21. Webb (Mahindra) +1m 8.795s
22. Mackenzie (Aprilia) +1m 8.846s
Stafford (Aprilia) DNF


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