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125: Terol takes victory in Qatar

Nico Terol wins the season-opening Qatar 125cc Grand Prix.
Nico Terol has won the first motorcycle grand prix of the 2011 season after totally dominating the 125cc race at Qatar on Sunday night.

The new three-riders per row format made for a noticeably less hectic first turn, with Terol, Sandro Cortese and Efren Vasquez all maintaining their grid positions.

Terol - who had enjoyed a huge advantage over his rivals for much of the weekend - began to pull clear as early as lap 2 of 18, while team-mate Hector Faubel worked his way past Vasquez and Cortese.

Once into second, former Moto2 rider Faubel faced a near two-second gap to Terol. But Terol's pace was simply too high and Terol instead fell victim to counter attacks from Cortese and Vasquez.

By the halfway point Terol, second in last year's world championship to Marc Marquez, had built a 11.036sec lead.

His advantage eventually peaked at over 14-seconds before settling at 7.710sec by the chequered flag. The crushing win was Terol's second Qatar victory in a row.

The battle for second was far more competitive with Cortese, Faubel and Vasquez being joined by Jonas Folger and Sergio Gadea for the second half of the race.

Faubel then dropped out of contention after a mechanical glitch on lap 14, leaving him to nurse his sick Aprilia to the finish in eleventh, while the final lap began with Cortese, Vasquez, Gadea and Folger covered by 1.3sec.

Cortese kept just out of reach to collect second for Racing Team Germany, while Paris Hilton-backed Gadea - back in 125 after a season in Moto2 - got the better of AirAsia Ajo Derbi's Vasquez by 0.367sec.

Folger was even closer to Vasquez in fifth for Red Bull Ajo Aprilia.

Qatar was the first race of the final 125cc season, with the new Moto3 four-stroke class beginning in 2012.

Race results - Qatar:

1. Terol (Aprilia) 18 laps
2. Cortese (Aprilia) +7.710s
3. Gadea (Aprilia) +9.147s
4. Vasquez (Derbi) +9.514s
5. Folger (Aprilia) +9.698s
6. Zarco (Derbi) +15.260s
7. Moncayo (Aprilia) +15.352s
8. Salom (Aprilia) +15.696s
9. Vinales (Aprilia) +15.910s
10. Oliveira (Aprilia) +27.396s

13. Kent (Aprilia) +44.001s
16. Webb (Mahindra) +50.424s
18. Mackenzie (Aprilia) +1m 2.931s
25. Stafford (Aprilia) +1m 30.798s

Tagged as: 125 , Qatar , Nico Terol

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