Julián Simón Closes In On 125cc Title
Julián Simón’s crash at Estoril has done little to decrease his chances of claiming the 125cc world title with three races remaining, and the Spanish rider is well placed to claim that crown in Australia. A win at Phillip Island for Simón would deliver him the title regardless of where his title rivals finish, but there are various permutations if he does not take top spot.
Simón has a handsome 50.5-point lead over his nearest competitor – and Bancaja Aspar team-mate – Bradley Smith, and he needs to finish in front of the Brit in Australia to be crowned champion. At the same time, Nico Terol also has a part to play. Simón needs to finish on the podium to take the title if his fellow Spaniard wins. If Terol takes second spot, Simón needs seventh, while third for Terol would require a minimum finish of 11th place for Simón to end the title contest in Australia.
If Simón does not manage to clinch the title at Phillip Island, he needs to take 25 points from the remaining three races – including the Australian GP – to secure the accolade, regardless of how well his opponents fare.
Interestingly, none of the riders starting the 125cc race at Phillip Island have won a GP race at the Australian circuit before, with Simón finishing fourth in the 250cc contest last year – his best ever result there.
Rival Smith has never finished in the points at Phillip Island in his three visits to the track, while Terol is yet to place inside the top ten at the circuit after four GP starts there.
Pol Espargaro’s late-season run of rich form has seen him climb the standings with two wins in his last three races having never scored a victory in his previous 48 GP starts. Victories in Indianapolis and Estoril – he was also knocked off at the final corner in Misano when leading – have seen his confidence grow, and he has Terol in his sights with a 23-point deficit to the third-placed championship runner.
The Iveco Australian Grand Prix takes place from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October, with free practice commencing on Friday afternoon.