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250: Simoncelli resists Kallio at Valencia
26 October 2008
Marco Simoncelli has won the final round of the 2008 250cc World Championship, at Valencia, after Mika Kallio's determined pursuit of the Italian ended in a last lap accident.
Simoncelli, who won the 2008 world championship last weekend in Malaysia, clinched his sixth victory of the season by working his way forwards from sixth on lap 2 of 27 to lead the second half of the race.
But Kallio, who exchanged the lead with fellow KTM rider Julian Simon during the early stages of the event, pushed his machine over the limit on several occasions in order to stay in touch with the Gilera star - and was only 0.23sec behind as the last lap began.
Simoncelli was faster through the twisty middle part of the lap and Kallio, desperate to close his and KTM's 250GP career with a race victory, crashed out after losing the front as he turned in to a fast left hander.
Simoncelli duly won by five seconds from JiR Team Scot Honda's Yuki Takashi, who will join Kallio in moving to MotoGP next season, with Alvaro Bautista - strangely off pace in front of his home fans - promoted to a surprise third.
Kallio limped home in eleventh place but, with Alex Debon also crashing, the top five positions in the championship remained unchanged: Simoncelli from Bautista, Kallio, Debon and Takahashi.
Fourth place in the race went to Simoncelli's team-mate Roberto Locatelli, the grand prix veteran - who suffered a life threatening injury at Jerez last season - riding an inspired race to comfortably hold off the top KTM of Hiroshi Aoyama. Simon suffered an engine failure on lap 20, shortly after being passed by Bautista for fourth.
Race results - Valencia:
1. Simoncelli (Gilera)
2. Takahashi (Honda) +5.164sec
3. Bautista (Aprilia) +8.648sec
4. Locatelli (Gilera) +15.605sec
5. Aoyama (KTM) +20.991sec
6. Faubel (Aprilia) +22.212sec
7. Espargaro (Aprilia) +23.199sec
8. Wilairot (Honda) +23.321sec
9. Pasini (Aprilia) +37.424sec
10. Luthi (Aprilia) +38.887sec
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