30 April 2006
Aoyama, KTM win heart-stopping 250 showdown.
Hiroshi Aoyama took KTM's first ever victory in the 250cc class at Turkey today, after one of the most breathtaking final laps of all time.
The Japanese was overtaken by both Alex de Angelis and Hector Barbera on either side on the flat-out charge to the final chicane on the last lap - then had the spectacular sight of both riders colliding as they crossed lines in front of him!
de Angelis made a miraculous save as he pulled his bucking bike from the brink of no return, before spearing off onto the grass and somehow slowing down safely - from well over 100mph - on the run-off area, while Aoyama capitalised on the chaos to retake the lead.
"I'm so happy for this result, both on my own behalf and for KTM. I was pushing all time, and the bike performed well to help me on my way," said Hiro after his second ever grand prix victory. "It was somewhat dangerous what happened on the final lap. Dovi opened the door, I went inside, and I was able to avoid the two coming round from the left and right."
Barbera fared better from the manoeuvre than de Angelis, keeping his bike on-track to take second place while Andrea Dovizioso - who had exchanged the lead on a number of occasions with Barbera, De Angelis and Aoyama - completed the podium, and now leads the championship by two points.
"The team did a good job, we've not had a lot of luck in the past few races," said Hector. "I touched De Angelis at the end of the race, but this is racing, everyone's pushing and accidents happen. My dream is reality, and I'm really happy."
"It was very dangerous, and it seems to be the same riders involved in incidents like this all the time, de Angelis and Barbera," slammed Dovi. "I think that at the speeds we were going, it is too risky to make such manoeuvres. For me third position is good for the championship, in a race which was like a 125cc Grand Prix."
Roberto Locatelli once again made a dramatic comeback through the field, and would eventually finish the race in fourth, Yuki Takahashi and Sylvain Guintoli completed the top six.
Meanwhile, a bizarre first corner collision with Aoyama's younger brother Shuhei - who seemed not to turn as he arrived at the corner - knocked pre-race favourite and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo out of the race.
250cc top ten – Turkish Grand Prix:
1. H. Aoyama (KTM)
2. Barbera (Aprilia) +0.401secs
3. Dovizioso (Honda) +0.467secs
4. Locatelli (Aprilia) +0.641secs
5. Takahashi (Honda) +2.555secs
6. Guintoli (Aprilia) +10.554secs
7. Smrz (Aprilia) +12.534secs
8. Baldolini (Aprilia) +16.887secs
9. West (Aprilia) +17.348secs
10. Porto (Honda) +20.910secs
Davies (Aprilia) DNF
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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