Hiroshi Aoyama won a thrilling 250cc Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez with a smart last turn re-pass on home hero Alvaro Bautista.

Alex Debon initially held his pole position into turn one, but was soon displaced by Marco Simoncelli, Bautista, Hector Barbera and Aoyama - who fought tooth-and-nail for most of the race.

Simoncelli, Bautista and Aoyama exchanged the lead on countless occasions - Bautista appeared the fastest, but reigning champion Simoncelli refused to give in and Scot Honda star Aoyama was unusually combative, while Barbera was poised to mop up any casualties in a close fourth.

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The group was finally split in half when Simoncelli made a small mistake with four laps to go, handing Barbera third position, while Aoyama shadowed Bautista until the final lap - when he dived inside the Aspar Aprilia rider into the stadium section with just a few corners to go.

Bautista was forced to try a last turn move, but Aoyama calmly let the Spaniard charge through on a tight inside line, before blasting past him on the exit and riding to his first Honda victory since 2005.

Aoyama, who won four 250GPs as a factory KTM rider from 2006-2008, has now taken the world championship lead from Bautista by four points.

Meanwhile, Simoncelli retook Barbera to claim his first podium - and points - of the 2009 season, but is already 42 points behind Aoyama.

Debon crashed out of sixth on lap ten.

Race results - Jerez:

1. Aoyama (Honda)
2. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.132sec
3. Simoncelli (Gilera) +2.706sec
4. Barbera (Aprilia) +2.769sec
5. Luthi (Aprilia) +17.946sec
6. Pasini (Aprilia) +17.950sec
7. Talmacsi (Aprilia) +26.288sec
8. Cluzel (Aprilia) +26.472sec
9. Locatelli (Gilera) +27.646sec
10. de Rosa (Honda) +32.369sec