San Marian star Simone Sanna (#16) won an incredibly close 125cc German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, after a four way dice for the lead went all the way to the final lap.
As the red lights went out it was Toni Elias who made the best getaway, to slot in front of pole sitter Max Sabbatani and second placed qualifier Simone Sanna.
Into the second lap and disaster for early championship leader Youichi Ui as he speared straight on at a fast right handler – going into the gravel trap – and hanging on, but the Japanese rider was travelling too fast to turn and was forced to drop his Derbi to avoid a crash.
Meanwhile, back at the front, Elias still led from Sabbatani and Sanna, but into the first turn on lap three and Sanna sliced inside Sabbatani with a clean precise move to take second.
But Sanna wasn't satisfied with that: After pressuring Elias for the lead over the next lap, the young San Marian slipstreamed the Telefonica rider along the main straight to take the lead at the first turn in a repeat of his move on Sabbatani.
By now Manuel Poggiali was up to third and passed Elias for second at the first turn on lap 6, with Lucio Cecchinello now shadowing Elias. But the battle for the lead was on and Poggiali swept inside Sanna at one of the many left handers, while Elias followed soon after, leaving Sanna to defend third from Cecchinello.
Not for long though, as Cecchinello took the final (potential) podium place away a few corners later, and the Catalan GP winner was soon setting his sights on second - and then the lead – which he duly took a lap later.
Lap 8 and into the first turn went Arnauld Vincent and Pablo Nieto side-by-side, but it wasn't going to work and the two tangled spectacularly, with Vincent lucky to escape unharmed as his – and Nieto's – machines landed almost on top of the Frenchman.
Over the next few laps the lead group changed places frantically as they passed and re-passed each other around the 3.704km circuit. Nevertheless, the order by lap 15 was: Cecchinello from Sanna, Elias, Poggiali and Azuma, the Japanese rider having stormed through the field from another lowly start