Julián Simón- 2009 125cc World Champion2009-10-17 20:51
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.
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