Alvaro Bautista has clinched the 2006 125cc World Championship in perfect style, by dominating the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
The race was restarted and shortened after an early clash between Lukas Pesek, Mattia Pasini and others, but Bautista went on to win by a comfortable 3.2secs from nearest title rival Mika Kallio
to claim his first world crown with three rounds still to go.
Bautista's Master Aspar Aprilia team-mate Pasini recovered from his earlier accident to complete the podium after edging out 2005 world champion Thomas Luthi.
"Being called the 125cc World Champion doesn't sound too bad at all!" smiled Bautista. "This title is down to all the hard work we've done. I changed teams after a disappointing 2005 season and it gave me a real lift. The team have done everything I've asked of them and to win the title with three races to go shows just what a perfect season it's been. I want to thank the team, Aprilia, my family and all those who didn't turn their backs on me after last season."
The Spaniard has taken seven wins so far this season and twelve podiums from thirteen races.125cc top ten – Australian Grand Prix:
1. Bautista (Aprilia)
2. Kallio (KTM) +3.242secs
3. Pasini (Aprilia) +3.381secs
4. Luthi (Honda) +3.639secs
5. Simon (KTM) +3.838secs
6. Pesek (Derbi) +6.069secs
7. de Rosa (Aprilia) +6.085secs
8. Lai (Honda) +6.572secs
9. Talmacsi (Honda) +6.704secs
10. Olive (Aprilia) +8.310secs
28. Smith (Honda) +1min 34.602secs