Nico Terol: 2011 125cc MotoGP Champion

2011 125cc MotoGP

Nico Terol marked his name down in history as the last ever 125cc World Champion by taking the 2011 title, following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Julian Simon and Marc Marquez who preceded the 23 year-old from Alcoy in a strong Spanish dominance of the category in recent years.

Terol made his Grand Prix debut in 2004 as a replacement for the injured Mike di Meglio in the 125cc class at the final round of the season in Valencia, having finished fourth in his national Championship, and the following year in 2005 he competed in his first full Grand Prix campaign on board a Derbi.

A promising 2006 saw Terol have a strong second half of the season as he regularly scored top-ten finishes, but that progress wavered somewhat the following year as he failed to improve on his final Championship finish.

A switch to Aprilia in 2008 proved to be a catalyst for Terol’s talent to prosper, and it did so in rapid fashion. A first Grand Prix podium at Jerez was later followed by a maiden victory – at Indianapolis – and the Spaniard ended the year in an impressive fifth place overall.

Further progress came in 2009 as Terol finished the season third in the Championship, and his form earned him a ride with the Aspar set-up for the 2010 campaign in which his title credentials really came to the fore. Three victories and a total of 14 podium finishes were only outdone by the stunning form of eventual World Champion Márquez, whom Terol finished runner-up to by 14 points. Injury also played a part in Terol’s season; he crashed out of the Catalunya GP and injured his back, missing the next race in Germany as he recovered.

Touted as the man to beat going into 2011, Terol immediately set the tone by taking victory in five of the opening seven rounds to leave little doubt over his pre-season tag as title favourite. An injury which prevented his participation at Assen and a mechanical failure at Brno presented mid-season moments of concern, but Terol’s quality was underlined as he bounced back from the Czech Republic disappointment with three consecutive wins.

Pushed until the final round of the campaign by rival Johann Zarco, Terol sealed his first World Championship title in front of his home crowd at the Valencia GP with second position, closing another illustrious chapter in Grand Prix history as the 125cc class makes way for the new Moto3 category in 2012.

Some facts about Nico Terol’s achievement

  • Nico Terol has become World Champion in spite of crashing in qualifying at the Dutch TT and missing the race due to injury.
  • He is the ninth Spanish rider to win the 125cc world title, joining: Angel Nieto (1971/72/79/81/82/83/84), Jorge Martínez (1988), Alex Criville (1989), Emilio Alzamora (1999), Dani Pedrosa (2003), Álvaro Bautista (2006), Julián Simón (2009) and Marc Márquez (2010)
  • Nico Terol has taken thirteen wins during his career, all riding Aprilia machinery, making him the rider with most wins in the 125cc class riding Aprilia.
  • Since winning the opening race of the year in Qatar, Terol has never lost the lead in the World Championship standings.
  • From the 17 races that he has started in 2011, he has only failed to finish either first or second on five occasions; fourth at the Sachsenring, eighth in the wet race at Silverstone, a non-finish at Brno due to mechanical problems, sixth at Phillip Island and fifth at Sepang.

Nico Terol Biography:

  • Birth date: 27/9/1988 (23 years)
  • Birth place: Alcoy, ESP
  • First Grand Prix: VAL – 2004 – 125cc
  • First Pole Position: FRA – 2010 – 125cc
  • First Podium: SPA – 2008 – 125cc
  • First GP Victory: INP – 2008 – 125cc
  • Grand Prix Starts: 112
  • Grand Prix Victories: 13
  • Podiums: 34
  • Pole Positions: 8
  • Race Fastest Lap: 7
  • World Championship Wins: 1 – 2011 – 125cc

Nico Terol MotoGP Career:

  • 2004: 125cc World Championship – unclassified on an Aprilia, 1 start, 0 points
  • 2005: 125cc World Championship – 36th position on a Derbi, 13 starts, 1 point
  • 2006: 125cc World Championship – 14th position on a Derbi, 16 starts, 53 points
  • 2007: 125cc World Championship – 22nd position on a Derbi, 17 starts, 22 points
  • 2008: 125cc World Championship – 5th position on an Aprilia, 17 starts, 176 points, 1 win
  • 2009: 125cc World Championship – 3rd position on an Aprilia, 16 starts, 179 points, 1 win
  • 2010: 125cc World Championship – 2nd position on an Aprilia, 16 starts, 296 points, 3 wins

* 2011: 125cc World Championship – 1st position on an Aprilia, 14 starts, 302 points, 8 wins