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2009 Sepang 250cc Qualifying Practice Result - Mixed Fortunes For Title Candidates

Results of qualifying for the 250cc class at Sepang:

Hiroshi Aoyama ratcheted up the pressure on his rivals for the 250cc title Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista by capping a strong qualifying session with a new pole record, improving his own record from last year. Jules Cluzel continued his outstanding run of form to get on the front row beside Aoyama, doing so by following the Scot Honda man on his fast lap.

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2009 Sepang 250cc FP2 Result - Aoyama Leads Again

Hiroshi Aoyama topped the time sheets in the second session of free practice, continuing the work he started on Friday. After his salary holdout on Friday, Hector Barbera was back on the front row, ahead of Marco Simoncelli, who was back up to speed. Mattia Pasini was 4th fastest.

Result

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2009 Sepang 250cc FP1 Result - Aoyama Strikes First Blow

Hiroshi Aoyama struck the first blow in the battle for the 250cc championship at Sepang, the Japanese rider setting the fastest time of the day in the dying seconds of first session of free practice. It had taken much of the session until Aoyama was up to speed, though. For the first 40 minutes, Aoyama languished mid-pack with his main title rival Marco Simoncelli, but with 20 minutes to go, the Scot Honda rider picked up the pace, eventually taking top spot.

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Who Needs To Finish Where: The 2009 Championship Permutations

Both MotoGP and World Superbikes are in action this weekend, and a grand total of four titles could be wrapped up on Sunday. At Sepang, Valentino Rossi could secure his 7th MotoGP title on Sunday, while Hiroshi Aoyama could clinch the last ever 250cc world title. Several hours later, at the last WSBK round at Portimao in Portugal, the World Superbike title is likely to go down to the wire, with little to choose between Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies. Between the two World Superbike races, Cal Crutchlow looks likely to secure the World Supersport championship.

Of course, it's not quite as simple as all that, and so below is a guide to who needs to finish where in which races to wrap up the championship. The 125cc class already has a champion, with Julian Simon clinching the title after beating Aspar team mate Bradley Smith at Phillip Island last weekend.

 

MotoGP

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2009 Phillip Island 250cc Race Result - Red Flagged Race Throws Championship Up In The Air

Results and summary of the 250cc race at Phillip Island:

Marco Simoncelli won the red-flagged 250cc race in Australia, and with Hiroshi Aoyama and Alvaro Bautista losing points, came a big step closer to retaining his 250cc title. Simoncelli took the lead early on in the race, but Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista and Raffaele de Rosa stuck with him. Hiroshi Aoyama was with the group early, but could not match the pace of the leading group, soon dropping off the back. As Aoyama lost contact with the leaders, so Simoncelli started to edge away at the front.

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2009 Phillip Island 250cc FP2 Result - Pasini Leads French Cohorts Again

Mattia Pasini set the fastest time in the final session of free practice for the 250 class, keeping ahead of the team mates of the title contenders. Scot Honda's Raffaele de Rosa and Mapfre Aspar's Mike di Meglio finished the session in 2nd and 3rd, well ahead of their championship-chasing team mates Hiroshi Aoyama (7th) and Alvaro Bautista (10th). Jules Cluzel was once again at the front, setting the 4th fastest time. Aoyama was later fined 1000 dollars for kicking out at Axel Pons during the session.

Results:

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Injury Update: Canepa Out, Barbera Bruised

There was a fairly hefty injury toll at the cool and dusty Phillip Island track on Friday. There were fallers in all of the categories, but the heaviest of the lot were Hector Barbera in the 250cc class and Niccolo Canepa in MotoGP. Barbera highsided, landing heavily on his back and knocking the wind out of him. As he struggled for breath, Barbera told the press afterwards, he feared the worst, the incident bringing back bad memories of his huge crash at Motegi last year. This time he got away with just some very nasty and very painful bruising, but he is currently behind held under observation, just to make sure that the cracked vertebrae he suffered last year have not been injured again.

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