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125: Corsi clinches Valencia victory
26 October 2008
Simone Corsi has won a fittingly frantic season-ending 125cc grand prix at Valencia, which saw the top four riders covered by just 0.776sec at the flag.
Corsi's fourth victory of the season, and first since round six at Mugello, came after a race long battle with team-mate Nicolas Terol and newly crowned world champion Mike di Meglio - with Bradley Smith and Sandro Cortese also in contention during the closing stages.
di Meglio looked in a confident position as he led the two black Aprilias on the penultimate lap, but the Frenchman lost the front of his Derbi into a left hand turn - saved it - but ran wide in the process, dropping him to third.
di Meglio was back on Terol's rear wheel by the start of the last lap, but the Spaniard maintained his composure to hold second position, whilst Corsi remained wheel perfect in front to win by just 0.106sec.
Smith fought his way up the order after slipping to sixth in the early stages, snatching third with five laps to go when he overtook both Cortese and Terol in a single move. Terol counterattacked with three laps remaining, and Smith crossed the line just 0.223sec from claiming a podium finish on his final ride for the Polaris World team.
Smith will join Aspar Aprilia next year, whose 2007 world champion Gabor Talmacsi, riding in his final 125cc race, converted pole into an early race lead. But 'Talma' looked down at the left hand (gear-shift) side of his bike exiting the final corner on lap one and was soon dropping down the order.
The Hungarian, who will move to 250cc in 2009, then crashed out on lap 9 - probably due to the mechanical problem - allowing Corsi to snatch second place from him in the final world championship standings.
There was further bad luck for Aspar, with Sergio Gadea being taken out by Stefan Bradl when the young German highsided just in front of him.
Pablo Nieto, competing in his last 125cc grand prix before retirement, finished in ninth place for Onde 2000 KTM. Nieto will join his brother Gelete in a team management role next season, when Onde 2000 will step up two classes to MotoGP, running Sete Gibernau on a Ducati.
Race result - Valencia:
1. Corsi (Aprilia)
2. Terol (Aprilia) +0.106sec
3. di Meglio (Derbi) +0.223sec
4. Smith (Aprilia) +0.776sec
5. Cortese (Aprilia) +1.333sec
6. Iannone (Aprilia) +21.578sec
7. Koyama (KTM) +29.387sec
8. Redding (Aprilia) +29.419sec
9. Nieto (KTM) +38.059sec
10. Rabat (KTM) +38.481sec
Webb (Aprilia) DNF
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