Aoyama Takes 250cc Title As Barbera Wins At Valencia
Hiroshi Aoyama was crowned 250cc 2009 World Champion after taking seventh position at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana on Sunday, following an eventful race which ended with Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team) winning the last-ever quarter-litre Grand Prix in front of his home crowd.
Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Team) and Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Racing) completed the podium, as Barberá won by a margin of 3.663s and sealed second spot in the World Championship standings ahead of Marco Simoncelli.
Scot Honda rider Aoyama survived a run-off in lap nine, which dropped him down to eleventh position – the lowest finish he could afford in order to claim the title – as an engrossing race then saw Simoncelli lose the front of his bike when going into turn two with seven laps to go, thus ending his race.
Thomas Luthi (Emmi – Caffe Latte), Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) all finished ahead of Aoyama in the race. The new World Champion survived an early scare when nearly touching bikes with Bautista, before Simoncelli recovered from falling to eighth place from first on the grid to lead the race.
Aoyama’s run-off then added more entertainment, before Simoncelli’s crash handed him the title as both Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar) and Jules Cluzel (Matteoni Racing) also suffered spills which ended their seasons on a low.