(AFP) – Jun 28, 2008
ASSEN, the Netherlands (AFP) — Spain's Alvaro Bautista, riding an Aprilia, won the 250cc category of the Dutch Grand Prix here on Saturday.
The Spaniard finished ahead of Switzerland's Thomas Luthi, also riding an Aprilia, and Italian Marco Simoncelli, on a Gilera.
Although Bautista started from pole, he suffered a terrible opening lap during which he dropped down to eighth place.
But he reeled in Luthi after the Swiss rider had broken free from the pack, with the definitive pass coming on the nineteenth lap.
Bautista then extended his advantage over Luthi to 4.5sec before taking the chequered flag and his second win of 2008. Second spot on the podium for Luthi was his best ever 250cc result.
Simoncelli made the podium for the fifth race in succession to cut the World Championship gap between himself and Finnish leader Mika Kallio to a solitary point.
The Italian came out worst from a first corner lack of space, running onto the rumble strip and dropping down places, but fought his way back to a rostrum finish.
Kallio finished in seventh, almost 13sec off the pace.
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