Simone Corsi took a hard-fought victory in the 125cc Valencia Grand Prix ahead of Nicolas Terol to lead an Aprilia Jack&Jones one-two, after a race-long battle against new world champion Mike di Meglio.
Italy's Corsi, starting the race from third, took the lead from Spanish teammate Terol on lap two of 24 and held it until lap twelve, when Frenchman di Meglio completed his recovery from the seventh spot on the grid to take first.
From then on, Corsi and di Meglio exchanged the lead on every lap except for lap 20, until the Ajo Derbi rider relinquished the lead for the final time on the penultimate lap when he briefly lost the rear and went wide, with Corsi going back at the front and Terol slotting into second.
Corsi managed to keep an advantage of a few metres in the last lap to win the race by one tenth of a second over Terol, with di Meglio a further tenth down.
Today's victory means that Corsi is the runner up in this year's championship, with last year's champion Gabor Talmacsi - who was six points ahead before this race - falling to third in the standings.
The Hungarian, who qualified on pole position, crashed out on lap seven from sixth position after breaking his Aspar Aprilia's gear level on the first lap while on the lead.
Polaris World Aprila's Bradley Smith ended the race in fourth place after holding third place for two laps from lap 19, when he took advantage of a scrap between Terol and Sandro Cortese. The latter ended up fifth with his Emmi Aprilia.
Andrea Iannone had a lonely race to sixth with his I.C. Aprilia after Stevie Bonsey crashed his Degraaf Aprilia on lap 16.
Red Bull KTM's Tomoyoshi Koyama classified seventh ahead of Bluesens Aprilia's Scott Redding, and the KTMs of Pablo Nieto (Onde) and Esteve Rabat (Repsol).
Stefan Bradl had a high-side and crashed his Kiefer Aprilia on the third lap, taking Sergio Gadea's Aspar Aprilia with him. Danny Webb also crashed his Degraaf Aprilia on lap seven, while Raffaele de Rosa did the same with his Onde KTM two laps later.
Belson Derbi's Pol Espargaro, who was briefly knocked out in a crash in yesterday's qualifying, was deemed fit to race today, but during this morning's warm-up didn't feel in perfect conditions and abandoned the event.
CLASSIFIED: Pos Rider Bike Time 1. Simone Corsi Aprilia 40:45.715 2. Nicolas Terol Aprilia + 0.106 3. Mike Di Meglio Derbi + 0.223 4. Bradley Smith Aprilia + 0.776 5. Sandro Cortese Aprilia + 1.333 6. Andrea Iannone Aprilia + 21.578 7. Tomoyoshi Koyama KTM + 29.387 8. Scott Redding Aprilia + 29.419 9. Pablo Nieto KTM + 38.059 10. Esteve Rabat KTM + 38.481 11. Lorenzo Zanetti KTM + 38.941 12. Efren Vazquez Aprilia + 48.466 13. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia + 48.802 14. Alexis Masbou Loncin + 50.340 15. Enrique Jerez KTM + 50.575 16. Takaaki Nakagami Aprilia + 52.220 17. R.Krummenacher KTM + 55.047 18. Jonas Folger KTM + 55.139 19. Jules Cluzel Loncin + 55.546 20. Marco Ravaioli Aprilia +1:00.289 21. Robert Muresan Aprilia +1:10.142 22. Bastien Chesaux Aprilia +1:26.165 23. Louis Rossi Honda +1:26.407 24. Daniel Saez Aprilia +1:41.720 25. C.Trabalon Aprilia + 1 Lap NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Rider Bike Laps Pere Tutusaus Aprilia 23 Julian Miralles Aprilia 22 Steve Bonsey Aprilia 15 Joan Olive Derbi 14 Adrian Martin Aprilia 11 Raffaele De Rosa KTM 8 Gabor Talmacsi Aprilia 6 Daniel Webb Aprilia 6 Robin Lasser Aprilia 6 D.Agerter Derbi 3 Sergio Gadea Aprilia 2 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 2 Ricard Cardus Derbi 0 Pol Espargaro Derbi 0 H.van den Berg Aprilia 0 FASTEST LAP: Di Meglio, 1:40.901 on lap 4