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250: Lorenzo soaks up home Spanish victory
25 March 2007
Reigning 250cc world champion Jorge Lorenzo maintained his perfect start to the 2007 season with a hard-earned home victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Lorenzo and arch-rival Hector Barbera both made good starts from first and second on the grid - but it was another front row starter, Honda's Andrea Dovizioso, who made the best early impression as he worked his way quickly into the lead.
A four-man lead group of Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Barbera and reigning 125cc world champion Alvaro Bautista then formed - with Qatar winner Barbera unexpectedly plummeting to the back of the group on lap 8 of 26, just as fifth-placed Alex de Angelis got within sight of the frontrunners.
The 'fast four' continued to exchange blows, with home star Bautista leading a 250cc race for the first time on lap 12, before 'Dovi' retook command four laps later. A distraught Barbera low-sided out of contention soon after and - with de Angelis still only within watching distance - Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Bautista were left to settle the podium order over the final ten laps.
That trio - two Spaniards and an Italian, two Aprilias and a Honda - fought thrilling, literally swapping positions at almost every turn, before a wide line by second-placed Bautista, with three laps to go, delayed both he and Dovizioso - allowing leader Lorenzo vital breathing room.
The final lap began with Lorenzo 0.9secs ahead of countryman Bautista, and Dovizioso a close third. Lorenzo kept cool during the last remaining kilometers, allowing both Bautista and Dovizioso to close significantly, but the order at the flag remained Lorenzo, Bautista and Dovizioso.
In typical fashion, Lorenzo then soaked up the raucous applause from the packed stadium section, while the equally-popular Bautista celebrated his first 250cc podium in only his second quarter-litre ride. Dovizioso meanwhile could also feel more than content at having challenged the powerful Aprilias.
de Angelis slipped steadily back in the closing stages to confirm a lonely fourth, with Lorenzo's wild-card team-mate Alex Debon fifth in front of the Aoyama brothers.
Spanish Grand Prix:
1. Lorenzo (Aprilia)
2. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.218secs
3. Dovizioso (Honda) +0.478secs
4. de Angelis (Aprilia) +8.156secs
5. Debon (Aprilia) +14.747secs
6. H. Aoyama (KTM) +15.045secs
7. S. Aoyama (Honda) +17.918secs
8. Takahashi (Honda) +28.438secs
9. West (Aprilia) +39.435secs
10. Heidolf (Aprilia) +1min 2.689secs
14. Laverty (Honda) +1min 11.793secs
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