2009 MotoGP 125cc Champion Julián Simón started to ride off-road when he was only two, initially in minicross, and he moved to motocross when he was five. At 10 he became the Junior Spanish Champion and made the switch to road racing at 12. Winner of the 50cc and 125cc Aprilia Cups in 2000, he continued his career in the Spanish Championship before making his GP debut in 2003 with Malaguti.
His first season proved lacklustre, but a steady 2004 on Angaia Racing’s kitted-Honda saw him close the season in 14th place overall. This earned Simon a highly-coveted ride with the Red Bull KTM team. He achieved a final 125 World Championship position of seventh in 2005, the season in which he took his first GP victory at Donington Park in a crash-marred wet race.
Having finished ninth in 2006, Simón moved up to the 250 class under the tutelage of Alberto Puig in the Repsol Honda team for 2007. Simon finished in the top ten, but after a second season in the quarter-litre category without a podium appearance (on KTM machinery in 2008), the Spaniard opted to drop back into the 125cc ranks for the 2009 season to join the Bancaja Aspar team.
Simón’s form in pre-season boded well for the year ahead, fastest in many of the practice outings, which he then backed up with pole in the first qualifying session of the season at Qatar. Second in the shortened race, he was leading when the red flag came out, and has continued to be a front runner every single race weekend of 2009.
He has celebrated victory in five races (France, Germany, Britain, San Marino and Australia) with the only mishaps of the year a crash from second place in Jerez, the now infamous pit-board incident in Catalunya when he thought the race had finished a lap before the end and a crash at Portugal which resulted in a twelfth place finish. He has had a further five podium finishes and celebrates his first World Championship with two rounds to spare.
2009 MotoGP 125cc Champion: Julián Simón Personal Data
Date of birth: 03/04/1987 (22 years)
Place of birth: Villacañas (Spain)
2009 MotoGP 125cc Champion: Julián Simón achievement
>> Simón is the seventh Spanish rider to win the 125cc world title, joining: Ángel Nieto (1971/72/79/81/82/83/84), Jorge Martínez (1988), Àlex Crivillé (1989), Emilio Alzamora (1999), Dani Pedrosa (2003) and Álvaro Bautista (2006).
>> He is the first rider since Roberto Locatelli in 2000 to win the 125cc world title having previously competed as a full-time rider in the 250cc class.
>> In 2009 Simon has had six poles and five race wins. Prior to the start of this season Simon had never started from pole and had won only one Grand Prix; in the wet at Donington Park in 2005.
>> His seventh place on the grid in France was the only time this year that Simon has failed to qualify on the front row.
>> His win at Donington this year was the 100th Grand Prix victory for Aspar Martinez as rider and team manager.
>> He has finished on the podium ten times during 2009 after having had only two podium finishes in the 95 GP races he had competed in before the start of this year.
2009 MotoGP 125cc Champion: Julián Simón Career Data
>> First Grand Prix: SPA – 2002 (in 125cc)
>> First Pole Position: QAT – 2009 (in 125cc)
>> First Podium: GBR – 2005 (in 125cc)
>> First GP Victory: GBR – 2005 (in 125cc)
>> Grand Prix Starts: 109 (76 in 125cc and 33 in 250cc)
>> Grand Prix Victories: 6 (in 125cc)
>> Podiums: 12 (in 125cc)
>> Pole Positions: 5 (in 125cc)
>> Race Fastest Laps: 6 (in 125cc)
>> World Championship Wins: 1 – 125cc 2009
>> 2009 Total Points: 239
*data correct at 18/10/2009 (Iveco Australian Grand Prix)