Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the season after a closely fought 250cc Italian Grand Prix, ending a drought which started after wins in the opening two races of the season.

"I'm happier than ever about this victory, because we had problems in the last three races," said Lorenzo. "It is unbelievable. The race was a bit crazy, with riders hitting each other. I have to be happy with victory here."

The race was one of the tightest of 2006 so far, with a heartstopping finale. San Marino's Alex de Angelis was a close second behind Lorenzo, with home star Italian Andrea Dovizioso third to maintain a 20 point gap in the world championship standings between himself and new nearest rival Lorenzo.

The third placed rider in the championship, Yuki Takahashi, finished in fourth at Mugello ahead of Alex Debon and early leader Roberto Locatelli.

Marco Simoncelli was just outside the top six, ahead of Anthony West who had a stirling performance. Shuhei Aoyama and Andrea Ballerini completed the top ten.

There were spectacular early crashes from Hiroshi Aoyama and Jakub Smrz, heartbreaking for the Czech rider after his superb performance in practice at the Italian circuit.

Lorenzo's Fortuna Aprilia team-mate, and world championship contender, Hector Barbera was another rider forced to retire from the race just after the start.

250cc top ten - Italian Grand Prix:

1. Lorenzo (Aprilia)
2. de Angelis (Aprilia) +0.111secs
3. Dovizioso (Honda) +0.320secs
4. Takahashi (Honda) +0.334secs
5. Debon (Aprilia) +3.315secs
6. Locatelli (Aprilia) +3.327secs
7. Simoncelli (Gilera) +7.930secs
8. West (Aprilia) +26.048secs
9. S. Aoyama (Honda) +26.616secs
10. Ballerini (Aprilia) +30.570secs

17. Linfoot (Honda) +1min 48.388secs



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