Australian 125 Grand Prix
Another twist in the 2010 125cc title chase unfolded in Malaysia and now Australia plays host to the 15th of 17 rounds in the Championship at Phillip Island.
Marc Márquez arrives at Phillip Island as the leader following his eighth win of the year at Sepang, but with only a three-point advantage over Nico Terol and 12 ahead of Pol Espargaró it is the closest of battles.
Victory from pole position last time out for Márquez – who now holds the record for poles in a single 125cc season with ten – gave the young Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider the slenderest of advantages at the top of the Championship, and in Phillip Island he heads to a track at which he has finished ninth in the last two seasons.
Breathing down his neck in second place is Terol and the Bancaja Aspar rider has a best finish of sixth (last year) at the Australian circuit.
He finished third in the last round and his consistent podium form (of the 13 races he has started this year he has only failed to step onto the rostrum twice) has maintained his Championship challenge as the final run-in heats up.
In third place Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) was the pole man last year at Phillip Island and ended the race fourth.
His tenth podium of the season in Malaysia means he is keeping the pressure on as well, in what is proving to be a delightfully intriguing contest between the three in each race.
Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) in fourth position is still in search of a first win of 2010 and he placed second at Phillip Island last season, whilst Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) was also on the podium last season when he finished third. The German completes the top five in the standings at present.
Five Australian wild cards will add to the 125cc field with 2010 Red Bull MotoGP rookie participant Josh Hook (Hook Racing.com) being joined by Jordan Zamora (Eurotwins Brisbane), Levi Day (Racetrix), Nicholas Diles (Aprilia RSW Racing) and Joel Taylor (BRP Racing).
The impressive Danny Kent will continue for the Lambretta Reparto Corse set-up having achieved the team’s best qualification result in Malaysia, whilst Italian youngster Tommaso Gabrielli rides again for the Ongetta Team.
The 125cc class gets the Iveco Australian Grand Prix underway at 12.40pm local time on Friday, October 15th with the commencement of the first practice session.