Simoncelli dominates at Estoril
|By Michele Lostia
||Sunday, October 4th 2009, 11:30 GMT
Marco Simoncelli has dominated the 250cc Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril as the other podium positions remained unknown several minutes after the end of the race.
The Gilera rider, after an ordinary start from third on the grid and a difficult first lap that saw him drop back to sixth, set two consecutive fastest laps that put him in the lead on lap four.
From then on, the Italian kept his rivals under control, and managed to open a gap as wide as six seconds over the last ten laps.
The battle for second place was fought between the Aprilias of Hector Barbera (Pepe) and Mike di Meglio (Aspar). When the pair crossed the finish line, the timing screens showed Barbera ahead of di Meglio by 0.001 seconds, but TV footage showed them completely abreast.
Some 15 minutes later, the timing screens were amended to show that the two riders completed the race in exactly the same time, with the rule book stating that in case of ties, the riders concerned will be ranked in the order of the best lap time made during the race.
That resulted in di Meglio beating Barbera to second, with the two riders switching positions on the podium just as celebrations were about to start.
Championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama classified in a strong fourth place with his Scot Honda, thanks also to the accidents of the rivals ahead.
His team-mate Raffaele de Rosa crashed out of second place on lap six, while title rival Alvaro Bautista crashed his Aspar Aprilia on the previous lap when his engine sized. The crash came seconds after Barbera tried to overtake him for second place and pushed both wide to allow de Rosa through.
Jules Cluzel classified his Matteoni Aprilia fifth, followed by Ratthapark Wilairot on the Thai Honda, Tomas Luthi on the Emmi Aprilia, and Mattia Paini on the Globalgest Aprilia.
Pos Rider Bike Time
1. Marco Simoncelli Gilera 44m04.298s
2. Mike Di Meglio Aprilia + 5.317s
3. Hector Barbera Aprilia + 5.317s
4. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda + 12.024s
5. Jules Cluzel Aprilia + 14.349s
6. R.Wilairot Honda + 18.256s
7. Thomas Luthi Aprilia + 27.631s
8. Mattia Pasini Aprilia + 34.667s
9. Alex Debon Aprilia + 45.410s
10. Karel Abraham Aprilia + 45.891s
11. Lukas Pesek Aprilia + 46.204s
12. Shuhei Aoyama Honda + 57.641s
13. Valentin Debise Honda +1m21.309s
14. Alex Baldolini Aprilia +1m35.277s
15. Axel Pons Aprilia + 1 lap
16. Balazs Nemeth Aprilia + 1 lap
17. Bastien Chesaux Aprilia + 1 lap
18. Imre Toth Aprilia + 1 lap
19. C.Moretti Aprilia + 2 laps
Rider Bike Laps
Vladimir Leonov Aprilia 24
Shoya Tomizawa Honda 12
R.Locatelli Gilera 9
Raffaele De Rosa Honda 7
Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 4
Hector Faubel Honda 4
FASTEST LAP: Simoncelli, 1m40.863s on lap 17