Results and summary of the highly controversial 250cc race at Mugello:
The rain started as the 250cc bikes sat on the grid, causing a mad panic over pit wall as teams rushed to change tires and suspension in time for the race. One the race got underway, it was Marco Simoncelli who got away at the start, dropping the chasing pack straight away, and building up a gap of over 7 seconds within three laps. Once Mattia Pasini and Alvaro Bautista got past Hiroshi Aoyama, they quickly started closing down the World Champion, Bautista clearly the fastest of the two chasers.
By the time they crossed the line to start lap 9, Bautista was on Simoncelli, with Pasini quick to join. Bautista edged ahead of Simoncelli over the line a lap later, a move Simoncelli tried to counter, but ran wide on braking, allowing Bautista past and into the lead. Simoncelli then started chasing Bautista hard, pushing him all the way round the track.
On lap 11, Simoncelli pushed a fraction too hard. Diving inside Bautista at Savelli, Simoncelli couldn't quite make it round the corner, and Bautista hit him as he went for the apex. Simoncelli could do nothing but run wide, forcing Bautista with him, the pair of them running into the gravel. Simoncelli came off best, soon returning to the track, while Bautista had to go the long way round back to the track.
The incident left Mattia Pasini in the lead, and Simoncelli and Bautista chasing. Bautista was riding like a man possessed, closing Simoncelli down like a man possessed, 2 seconds a lap faster than Pasini, a second a lap quicker than Simoncelli. Bautista finally caught Simoncelli as they crossed the line to start lap 18, but Bautista was pushing so hard he got thrown out of the saddle and nearly off the bike going through the Biondetti esses. The incident was enough for Bautista to decide not to take any further risks, encouraged by Aspar team boss Jorge Martinez leaping onto pit wall and making big "calm down" signals to Bautista as he passed.
The pace of Simoncelli and Bautista had allowed the pair to close up on Pasini. With Bautista out of the running, Simoncelli closed on Pasini. The Gilera rider attempted the pass as the pair entered the San Donato corner to start the final lap. The pair of them then swapped places at every corner all the way down to the Arrabbiata corners, allowing Bautista to close. But the first half of the lap had left Simoncelli spent, and Mattia Pasini held on to take his second victory in the 250cc class, ahead of Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista.
Thomas Luthi had a strong race to finish 4th, ahead of Hector Barbera and Hiroshi Aoyama.
The results, though, are still provisional, as the incident between Simoncelli and Bautista is under investigation by race direction. Simoncelli could easily have his 2nd place taken away from him. The checkered flag may have fallen, this race isn't over yet.
|9||35||Raffaele DE ROSA||HONDA||46'23.247||44.856|
|12||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||APRILIA||46'38.930||1'00.539|
|16||11||Balazs NEMETH||APRILIA||47'07.283||1 lap|
|17||7||Axel PONS||APRILIA||47'07.373||1 lap|
|18||8||Bastien CHESAUX||HONDA||47'07.608||1 lap|
|19||53||Valentin DEBISE||HONDA||47'32.464||1 lap|
|20||37||Daniel ARCAS||APRILIA||46'39.370||3 laps|
|48||Shoya TOMIZAWA||HONDA||13'48.480||15 laps|
|52||Lukas PESEK||APRILIA||11'22.134||16 laps|
|56||Vladimir LEONOV||APRILIA||9'33.535||17 laps|
|Not finished first lap|