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250: First win for de Angelis, title for Lorenzo
29 October 2006
Alex de Angelis has finally won a 250cc grand prix, in the Valencia season finale, but fourth place for Jorge Lorenzo has handed the Spaniard his first world title.
As in the penultimate round at Estoril, Lorenzo struggled in the early stages - dropping rapidly down the order until being overtaken by his only remaining title rival, Andrea Dovizioso, who still had a slim chance of taking the crown. Lorenzo battled for several laps with the Honda rider, before Fortuna Aprilia team-mate Alex Debon also passed the young Italian - then acted as an impenetrable road block, allowing Lorenzo to escape and keeping Dovi at bay.
Meanwhile, after rocketing to an early lead, Roberto Locatelli was eventually caught by de Angelis and pole sitter Hiroshi Aoyama - with the KTM star looking set for his third win of the season after taking the lead in the closing third of the race. But the Japanese lost the front of his KTM with six laps to go, forcing the following Locatelli to slow, and handing de Angelis a lead he would hold to the chequered flag.
Locatelli recovered for second position, while Hector Barbera just held off team-mate Lorenzo to complete the podium. Dovizioso crossed the line in sixth, having lost an additional place to fellow Honda rider Shuhei Aoyama in the closing stages. Lorenzo thus clinched the crown by a solid 17 points.
250cc top ten – Valencia Grand Prix:
1. de Angelis (Aprilia)
2. Locatelli (Aprilia) +4.524secs
3. Barbera (Aprilia) +9.551secs
4. Lorenzo (Aprilia) +11.366secs
5. Debon (Aprilia) +14.957secs
6. S. Aoyama (Honda) +17.621secs
7. Dovizioso (Honda) +18.505secs
8. Poggiali (KTM) +18.846secs
9. de Gea (Honda) +20.362secs
10. Guintoli (Aprilia) +24.257secs
21. Davies (Honda) +1min 31.982secs
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