On category debut
Mattia Pasini took a rookie victory in the 250cc showdown in Qatar, with a triumph well deserved after his tribulations in last year's 125cc race.
The Polaris World Aprilia rider emerged from a second row start and involvement in a four-way battle
to determine the podium spots to snatch the lead in the quarter litre category race with two laps remaining.
Pasini overtook eventual second place finisher Hector Barbera when the Pepe Team Toth rider was otherwise occupied with poleman Alex Debon, sneaking through on the inside. From there he pulled away to win the race by over half a second, with Red Bull KTM's Mika Kallio rounding off the rostrum. Lotus Aprilia's returning veteran Debon had to settle for fourth, agonisingly close to repeating his first career podium from the final race of last year.
Debon's final lap of the Losail International Circuit was even faster than his pole time, and the quickest of the race.
Just dropping out of the duel having given the frontrunners some problems in the early going, JiR Team Scot's Yuki Takahashi came home in fifth, ahead of Aspar rider Alvaro Bautista who suffered a mechanical problem towards the end of the race that withdrew him from the fight for victory.
Cardion AB's Karel Abraham, Metis Gilera rider Roberto Locatelli, Lotus Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro and second highest placing category debutant Hector Faubel completed the top ten. Retirees included Marco Simoncelli and Lukas Pesek after promising starts, whilst Emmi Caffe Latte's Thomas Luthi was ordered to carry out a ride through penalty after jumping the start for the holeshot.
DORNA / CAPSIS International