2009 Estoril 250cc Race Result - Early Crashes Give Comfortable Victory

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.

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 58 Marco SIMONCELLI GILERA 44'04.298  
2 63 Mike DI MEGLIO APRILIA 44'09.615 5.317
3 40 Hector BARBERA APRILIA 44'09.615 5.317
4 4 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 44'16.322 12.024
5 16 Jules CLUZEL APRILIA 44'18.647 14.349
6 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT HONDA 44'22.554 18.256
7 12 Thomas LUTHI APRILIA 44'31.929 27.631
8 75 Mattia PASINI APRILIA 44'38.965 34.667
9 6 Alex DEBON APRILIA 44'49.708 45.410
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM APRILIA 44'50.189 45.891
11 52 Lukas PESEK APRILIA 44'50.502 46.204
12 73 Shuhei AOYAMA HONDA 45'01.939 57.641
13 53 Valentin DEBISE HONDA 45'25.607 1'21.309
14 25 Alex BALDOLINI APRILIA 45'39.575 1'35.277
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
Not Classified
  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
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Tiny correction:
Alvaro Bautista did not crash due to a bump, but apparently because of an engine seizure.

It's a crying shame that mechanical problems might have decided that championship.

It was hard to tell from up here in the press room. Thanks for the correction.