Stefano Perugini took 125cc German Grand Prix victory by just 0.212secs today at the Sachsenring, the Italian grabbing the lead from Casey Stoner
with two laps to go and emerging on top after a three-way final lap fight.
Qualifying saw Perugini take pole position after benefiting from a series of slipstreams in a frenetic final session which seemed more like a race as the 38 riders bunched together.
Provisional pole holder Alex De Angelis was second fastest and the pair are joined on today's all-Aprilia front row by Hector Barbera, high on confidence after his debut win two weeks ago, and Lucio Cecchinello.
Stoner was unable to break clear of the second row and will start fifth, while Honda mounted Andrea Dovizioso
and Dani Pedrosa
significantly improved their times - but were also forced to accept second row starts in sixth and seventh respectively.
Gino Borsoi edged out home hero Steve Jenkner – making his 100th GP start today - for the final second row slot in eighth.
When the red lights went out it was Barbera who led the field through the first few twists and turns, heading Dovizioso, Cecchinello, de Angelis, Stoner, Perugini, Pedrosa, Pellino, and Corsi, with Jenkner down in 14th.
Despite non-stop chopping and changing behind him, Barbera held firm up front until midway through the third lap when Perugini hit the front, leading Barbera, Stoner, de Angelis, Pedrosa, Cecchinello, Dovizioso and Pellino.
However, Barbera was to receive some bad news soon after, when he was 'awarded' a stop-go penalty for a jumped start, ending his charge. To make matters worse, the young Spaniard had just retaken the lead when it was announced... he would pull into the pits at the end of the lap.
Meanwhile, Perugini was now back in front – a position he would hold until lap 9 (of 27) when both de Angelis and Stoner slipstreamed past, leading a seven–way breakaway group consisting of the top three, plus Pedrosa, Cecchinello, Dovizioso and Ui.
With the halfway point of the race approaching, the lead group began to split up, with Stoner, de Angelis, Perugini and Pedrosa (respectively) holding a 1.5secs lead over the chasing trio of Ui, Dovizioso and Cecchinello.