Results and summary of the 250cc race at Estoril:
Marco Simoncelli took a comfortable victory in the first race of the day here at Estoril, breaking away after taking the lead early in the race. Simoncelli had started poorly, but fought his way forward from 6th to catch the group containing Alvaro Bautista, Hector Barbera and Alex Debon who had got away at the start.
Alvaro Bautista looked like getting firmly back into contention in the title chase, as the Spaniard was leading the race while his championship rival Hiroshi Aoyama was going backwards, dropping down to 8th. But on lap 4, the tide changed. Simoncelli passed Bautista for the lead, taking valuable points away from the Spaniard, and then at the start of the next lap, a wild pass by Hector Barbera forced Bautista wide, allowing both Barbera and Raffaele de Rosa to get ahead.
Worse was to come, as heading into Turn 6, Bautista lost the front on a bump and crashed out of the race. Meanwhile, Hiroshi Aoyama was making steady progress through the field, passing Jules Cluzel for 5th place. A few laps later, Aoyama was inadvertently helped by his team mate, De Rosa crashing out in exactly the same place as Alvaro Bautista had, handing Aoyama 4th place and valuable points.
While Marco Simoncelli was walking away with the race at the front, the battle for 2nd was intense. Hector Barbera and Mike di Meglio slugged it out for the best part of 20 laps, regularly swapping the lead. Di Meglio had the best of the race, but Barbera closed in the final laps, pushing ahead into Turn 1 on the final lap. Di Meglio bided his time, though, and closed through the final corner ready to pull out of Barbera's draft down the straight. Barbera was initially handed 2nd, by just one thousandth of a second, but after a video review of the finish, the positions were reversed, Di Meglio taking 2nd on the same time as Barbera.
Simoncelli's victory and Bautista's crash have strengthened Aoyama's lead in the championship, the Japanese rider now leading by 26 points, while Simoncelli has closed right in on Bautista.
|2||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||APRILIA||44'09.615||5.317|
|15||7||Axel PONS||APRILIA||44'12.221||1 lap|
|16||11||Balazs NEMETH||APRILIA||44'23.793||1 lap|
|17||8||Bastien CHESAUX||APRILIA||44'36.584||1 lap|
|18||10||Imre TOTH||APRILIA||45'30.295||1 lap|
|19||88||Christopher MORETTI||APRILIA||45'10.459||2 laps|
|56||Vladimir LEONOV||APRILIA||42'24.157||2 laps|
|48||Shoya TOMIZAWA||HONDA||20'44.573||14 laps|
|15||Roberto LOCATELLI||GILERA||15'29.036||17 laps|
|35||Raffaele DE ROSA||HONDA||13'30.519||19 laps|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||APRILIA||6'52.842||22 laps|
|55||Hector FAUBEL||HONDA||6'55.786||22 laps|