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Kobayashi clinches Asian GP2 crown
Nunes leads a Piquet GP 1-2 podium finish as Kobayashi becomes Champion

Kamui Kobayashi
The Toyota Formula One test driver’s poor start from pole position today meant that he could not celebrate his GP2 Asia Series title on the podium, but the new champion managed to make his way back to the front of the field again thanks to an early pitstop. His closest rivals failing to score, Valsecchi most notably stalling on the grid, Kobayashi’s P4 finish was enough then to clinch the 2009 GP2 Asia Series crown.

While Kobayashi completely missed his take off at the start, both Piquet drivers managed a perfect launch, Nunes even better than Rodriguez and the Brazilian took the lead. The rest of the race looked pretty easy for the two men who never faltered and crossed the finish line in that same order, bagging eighteen points and putting their team in second place of the Championship, four points clear from Barwa International Campos Team.

Still, another man really shone today as Jérôme d’Ambrosio recovered from a ten place grid penalty to finish on the podium. Quickest yesterday in qualifications, the Belgian fought his way back from eleventh, overtaking first van der Garde, then Razia and finally his teammate for third place, all the while setting another fastest lap time. This strong result gives him an opportunity to finish in the Championship’s Top Three and also gave Dams the Teams’ title.

Behind the Top 4, iSport’s van der Garde finished fifth ahead of Sakon Yamamoto. The ART racer led for a couple of laps as he pitted later than the leaders. After that, the Japanese charged through the field and worked his way to sixth. And just like Yamamoto, Trident’s Davide Rigon also pitted late and benefited from fresh tires to pass first Karun Chandhok and then Luiz Razia. The Brazilian from Arden hence will start from the reversed pole tomorrow.

With Kamui Kobayashi crowned champion, all eyes are now turned towards four men who can still claim Vice Champion: with 35 points Roldan Rodriguez passed Davide Valsecchi stuck at 34. The flying Jérôme d’Ambrosio stands fourth on 30 points and Vitaly Petrov is now fifth on 28.

Bahrain – Race 1

Pos Driver Team
1. Diego Nunes Piquet GP
2. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet GP
3. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams
4. Kamui Kobayashi Dams
5. Giedo van der Garde GFH Team iSport
6. Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix
7 Davide Rigon Trident Racing
8. Luiz Razia Arden Int. Motorsport
9. Karun Chandhok Ocean Racing Technology
10. James Jakes Super Nova Racing
11. Giacomo Ricci DPR
12. Sergio Perez Barwa Int. Campos Team
13. Michael Herck DPR
14. Marco Bonanomi My Qi-Meritus.Mahara
15. Javier Villa Super Nova Racing
16. Davide Valsecchi Durango 
17. Ricardo Teixeira Trident Racing
18. Fabrizio Crestani Ocean Racing Technology
19. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team
20 Rodolfo Gonzalez Fisichella Motor Sport Int.
21 Edoardo Mortara ArdenInt. Motorsport 
22 Alvaro Parente My Qi-Meritus.Mahara
23 Kevin Nai Chia Chen Fisichella Motor Sport Int.
24 Hamad Al Fardan GFH Team iSport
25 Pastor Maldonado ART Grand Prix
26 Michael Dalle Stelle Durango
Fastest lap time: Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dams): 1:46.954 on lap 23

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