Fourth place in today's 250cc Australian Grand Prix was enough to hand class rookie Dani Pedrosa
the 2004 world championship, with one round to spare.
Pedrosa broke both of his ankles in a practice accident at the Phillip Island track exactly one year ago, but completed an amazing recovery today, becoming the youngest ever 250cc world champion in his first season in the class.
Today's race was won by Sebastián Porto, who sealed the runner-up spot in the championship with his fifth triumph of the season, ahead of Aprilia colleagues Alex de Angelis
and Manuel Poggiali.
Toni Elías took fifth place, whilst British teenager Chaz Davies (lower pic) sealed his best ever grand prix finish in an impressive sixth – the KF Club Aprilia Germany rider fighting his way up from 13th in the early stages to finish comfortably ahead of factory machines ridden by the likes of Aoyama and Rolfo.
"It was a fantastic feeling to be racing with the factory bikes and riders," said Davies who's completing his third year of grand prix racing. "It's been a great weekend and following my ninth place in Malaysia, it's turning into a tremendous finish to the season."250cc Australian Grand Prix – top ten:
1. Porto (Aprilia)
2. De Angelis (Aprilia) +5.941secs
3. Poggiali (Aprilia) +13.289secs
4. Pedrosa (Honda) +14.996secs
5. Elias (Honda) +46.083secs
6. Davies (Aprilia) +55.140secs
7. Aoyama (Honda) +1min 1.014secs
8. Guintoli (Aprilia) +1min 4.684secs
9. Stigefelt (Aprilia) +1min 7.656secs
10. Rolfo (Honda) +1min 9.889secs