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250: Simoncelli wins, takes title lead
13 July 2008
Amidst difficult rainy conditions in Sachsenring, Marco Simoncelli stormed to his third victory of the season at the 250cc German Grand Prix.
Riding with a new Gilera RSA, the Italian dominated proceedings to win both the race and take the leadership of the world championship heading into the summer break.
Over seven seconds separated Simoncelli from the chasing pack with just a third of the race completed, and those behind him could do nothing to stop the Metis Gilera rider from breaking free.
Simoncelli's great escape to victory did not signal an end to the action, however, as a five-rider battle raged on for second place. Hector Barbera led the charge onboard his Team Toth Aprilia, taking his third rostrum finish of the year. He held off the challenge of Alvaro Bautista despite some tough competition from his fellow Spaniard.
Bautista had experienced a terrible start to his race, and had to work hard to rejoin the podium fight. Mapfre Aspar's former 125cc World Champion made a spectacular comeback on the slippery track, recording some of the fastest laps of the race and salvaging a fourth consecutive podium.
Mika Kallio performed an exercise of damage limitation as he conceded the lead of the overall classification, ensuring that the advantage held by Simoncelli could be easily closed when the series returns in mid-August. The Red Bull KTM rider came in ahead of Repsol KTM's Julian Simon, who took his best result of 2008 to date.
Mattia Pasini and Thomas Luthi both picked up valuable points in sixth and seventh place, respectively, whilst Kallio's team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama completed the race in eighth despite breaking his fairing in a late crash. Yuki Takahashi and Roberto Locatelli were the remaining two riders in the first ten across the line.
With next weekend's US Grand Prix for the MotoGP class only, round eleven of the 250cc World Championship will be held at Brno on August 17.
Race results - Sachsenring:
1. Simoncelli (Gilera)
2. Barbera (Aprilia) +2.257secs
3. Bautista (Aprilia) +2.423secs
4. Kallio (KTM) +4.150secs
5. Simon (KTM) +4.846secs
6. Pasini (Aprilia) +8.132secs
7. Luthi (Aprilia) +38.302secs
8. Aoyama (KTM) +48.926secs
9. Takahashi (Honda) +50.062secs
10. Locatelli (Gilera) +51.670secs
15. Laverty (Aprilia) +1min 13.856secs
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