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250: 'Hero' Aoyama wins home grand prix

24 September 2006

KTM's Hiro Aoyama was the crowd-pleasing victor of his home 250cc Japanese Grand Prix after edging out Alex de Angelis.

Meanwhile in a tense duel behind the lead pair, Jorge Lorenzo extended his lead over Andrea Dovizioso in the championship by three points to 27, after relegating the Italian to a second consecutive fourth place when he passed with just over three laps to go.

After de Angelis took the holeshot with a fantastic reflex start, a four-rider pack developed as the San Marino rider battled it out with Aoyama, Yuki Takahashi and Dovizioso. Takahashi would prove pivotal to the race, as a crash at the midway point directly in front of Dovizioso slowed the Italian down, allowing him to be caught by the previously off-pace Lorenzo.

Roberto Locatelli, who also had one of his trademark shotgun starts, took fifth, ahead of Shuhei Aoyama, Hector Barbera and wild card rider Ryuji Yokoe. Marco Simoncelli and Ratthapark Wilairot completed the top ten.

250cc top ten – Japanese Grand Prix:

1. H. Aoyama (KTM)
2. de Angelis (Aprilia) +1.341secs
3. Lorenzo (Aprilia) +4.349secs
4. Dovizioso (Honda) +4.530secs
5. Locatelli (Aprilia) +14.864secs
6. S. Aoyama (Honda) +24.111secs
7. Barbera (Aprilia) +41.433secs
8. Yokoe (Yamaha) +41.749secs
9. Simoncelli (Gilera) +41.881secs
10. Wilairot (Honda) +42.054secs