Sergio Gadea took his first 125GP victory at Le Mans on Sunday, the Spaniard catching early leader Mattia Pasini - and being perfectly placed when the Italian suffered his fourth mechanical problem in five rounds.
Pole sitter Pasini maintained his early lead until being briefly disposed by the Spaniard at the halfway mark of the 24 laps. Gadea, realizing that the leading pair were now coming under increasing pressure from Bradley Smith and Lukas Pesek, signaled to Pasini to follow him - but the Italian was having none of it and repassed Gadea a lap later.
Smith and Pesek reeled in the leaders soon after, forming an exciting four-rider victory fight... which was suddenly reduced to three when, with just five laps to go, Pasini's appalling run of bad luck struck again and the Italian's 2007 factory Aprilia broke down.
Following Pasini's departure, Gadea made a break up front - with championship leader Pesek in hot pursuit after passing Repsol Honda rider Smith, now concentrating on securing his first GP podium.
Gadea went on to become the fifth different rider to win a 125cc race this season by crossing the line 0.478secs ahead of Derbi rider Pesek, while 16-year-old Smith confirmed an excellent debut rostrum some 11secs ahead of Gabor Talmacsi.
Race results – Le Mans:
1. Gadea (Aprilia)
2. Pesek (Derbi) +0.478secs
3. Smith (Honda) +2.963secs
4. Talmacsi (Aprilia) +13.516secs
5. Olive (Aprilia) +13.845secs
6. Nieto (Aprilia) +14.936secs
7. Faubel (Aprilia) +15.098secs
8. Cortese (Aprilia) +15.603secs
9. Corsi (Aprilia) +15.664secs
10. di Meglio (Honda) +15.777secs
27. Webb (Honda) +1min 21.822secs