2010 Catalunya Moto2 Race Result - Comfortable Winner In Bizarre Incident-Ridden Contest

Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Barcelona:

Yuki Takahashi took the first victory for the Tech 3 Moto2 team at the Catalunya Grand Prix, after an utterly bizarre race which was strewn with crashes, yellow flags and ride throughs from the very beginning. 

The trouble started in the first corner: Thomas Luthi got the holeshot ahead of Toni Elias, with Yuki Takahashi bringing up the rear, but on the way into Turn 1, Alex Debon tried to make up too many places in one go, and possibly hampered by the shoulder and hand injuries the Aeroport de Castello rider is carrying, couldn't make it into the corner. In the ensuing carnage, five or six riders went down, and at least another twenty were forced off line, and out wide, with only the first six or seven making it through unscathed.

While Luthi was starting to eke a gap at the front, FIMMCO Speed Up's Andrea Iannone was battering his way past Julian Simon and Yuki Takahashi, but his pass on the Tech 3 rider happened under the yellow flag, which were still be waved after the first corner incident. That pass would come to haunt Iannone, as he forged into the lead, passing Elias and Luthi at the end of lap 3.

Iannone was ordered to give up the position he had gained under yellow, but the Italian either did not understand or ignored the instructions being issued by race direction and his team. After 5 laps, he was called in for a ride through, giving up the lead and rejoining in 17th, eventually finishing the race in 13th.

With Iannone out of the way, Yuki Takahashi inherited the lead, and having built up a 2 second gap after passing Thomas Luthi and Julian Simon on lap 7, went on to win comfortably. Behind Takahashi, Simon and Luthi battled it out for 2nd, the Interwetten rider coming out on top, leaving Simon to settled for 3rd on the Mapfre Aspar bike.

The crash on the first lap was not to be the last: of the 42 starters, just 26 were to cross the line. Many riders hit the deck, Niccolo Canepa among the most spectacular, his Force GP210 bike catching flame as it tumbled through the gravel. Most terrifying, though was the finish line incident between Jack&Jones rider Kenny Noyes and Tenerife Pons' Carmelo Morales. Morales came out of the final corner right on the tail of Noyes, and tried to change his line and come past on the other side as they hit the straight. But Morales was too close, and hit Noyes' back wheel, locking his own front wheel and flipping himself over the handlebars. Morales was clipped by the bike on the way down, then had his Kalex land on his back as it tumbled along the start and finish line. Though very badly beaten up, the initial word on Morales was that he was relatively OK. Noyes crossed the line in 7th, having made up 21 places after getting caught up in the first corner melee.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI TECH 3 41'42.451  
2 12 Thomas LUTHI MORIWAKI 41'47.488 5.037
3 60 Julian SIMON SUTER 41'47.651 5.200
4 17 Karel ABRAHAM FTR 41'49.157 6.706
5 24 Toni ELIAS MORIWAKI 41'49.820 7.369
6 3 Simone CORSI MOTOBI 41'49.865 7.414
7 9 Kenny NOYES PROMOHARRIS 41'59.461 17.010
8 10 Fonsi NIETO MORIWAKI 42'03.006 20.555
9 8 Anthony WEST MZ-RE HONDA 42'03.452 21.001
10 15 Alex DE ANGELIS FORCE GP210 42'03.820 21.369
11 2 Gabor TALMACSI SPEED UP 42'04.664 22.213
12 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR-MOTO2 42'05.475 23.024
13 29 Andrea IANNONE SPEED UP 42'07.748 25.297
14 16 Jules CLUZEL SUTER 42'09.125 26.674
15 11 Yusuke TESHIMA MOTOBI 42'09.247 26.796
16 35 Raffaele DE ROSA TECH 3 42'09.892 154.708
17 41 Arne TODE SUTER 42'10.125 27.674
18 61 Vladimir IVANOV MORIWAKI 42'17.644 35.193
19 18 Jordi TORRES PROMOHARRIS 42'19.875 37.424
20 53 Valentin DEBISE ADV 42'23.955 41.504
21 5 Joan OLIVE PROMOHARRIS 42'24.161 41.710
22 71 Claudio CORTI SUTER 42'24.417 41.966
23 4 Ricard CARDUS SUTER 42'31.675 49.224
24 19 Xavier SIMEON MORIWAKI 42'45.921 1'03.470
25 40 Sergio GADEA PONS KALEX 42'55.265 1'12.814
26 95 Mashel AL NAIMI BQR-MOTO2 43'05.247 1'22.796
Not Classified
  31 Carmelo MORALES PONS KALEX 40'09.179 1 lap
  76 Bernat MARTINEZ BIMOTA 37'11.028 3 laps
  25 Alex BALDOLINI I.C.P. 35'40.186 4 laps
  45 Scott REDDING SUTER 22'25.700 11 laps
  14 Ratthapark WILAIROT BIMOTA 16'28.564 14 laps
  7 Dani RIVAS PROMOHARRIS 7'25.184 19 laps
  48 Shoya TOMIZAWA SUTER 8'18.762 19 laps
  59 Niccolo CANEPA FORCE GP210 5'37.692 20 laps
  52 Lukas PESEK MORIWAKI 6'14.579 20 laps
  21 Vladimir LEONOV SUTER 1'59.408 22 laps
  77 Dominique AEGERTER SUTER 3'01.256 22 laps
  55 Hector FAUBEL SUTER 3'25.629 22 laps
  39 Robertino PIETRI SUTER    
  44 Roberto ROLFO SUTER    
  6 Alex DEBON FTR    
  63 Mike DI MEGLIO SUTER    
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13 29 Andrea IANNONE SPEED UP 42'07.748 25.297

Iannone was robbed. A 10 second penalty would have put him in at lease a respectable 7 place.

Rossi has passed under a yellow a few times only got a time penalty. His pass on biaggi at donnington under yellow gave him a time penality after the podium ceremony.

Again at Phillip island he had to make up a 10second penalty. Which he did.

I'm all for following the rules but, 'not passing under a 'visible' flag' is vague. In car racing it is 'from (or in line with) the flag'

To my mind, he was already passed, and even if he was the flag was obscured by the outside rider. I've got $100 that's says he will be quoted as saying "I didn't see the flag, I didn't know I did anything wrong.


So when did they change the rule?

I think that the Rossi incident may have been a catalyst to change the rule. Those sort of rule changes happen occasionally, and go unremarked because they are so technical, and are only called into question when another incident occurs to call the rule into question. This rule was changed some time ago.

For what it's worth, Iannone saw the yellow board with the instructions, but could not imagine what the penalty was for, and so he did not come in.

Yes that happened to Rossi in 2003 so they changed the rule for 2004. The current rule has been used before - in 2004 with Rossi again I think but can't remember which race or who he passed.

Both Morales and his Pons Kalex crossed the line, but they were not touching when they did so. So it doesn't count. 

It's all very well not understanding what the call to come in is for, but the ostrich attitude is not going to make it go away is it! That could be a very costly error come the end of the year. Then again with the pace he is currently showing he might just make a complete mockery of the control engine series before the seasons out.

Massive first corner pile up by a crazed maniac. Bikes burning on the side of the track. Another ride through drama ala Biaggi in 1998. A first time winner. A massive scary crash on the front straight that put the spectators in danger.

I don't think Hollywood could have written a more insane script. I'm going to need to weeks off to digest what I have seen. Really happy that no one was killed today.

P.S. Debon needs to be suspended for a while.

Agreed phoenix1, it's lucky that someone wasn't seriously hurt or killed today. Pretty wild to say the least. That was a real stupid move by Debon to try and he should be sat down for a few races to remind him that he can't barge into the middle of a pack through the grass.

I doubt he'll remember anything and no amount of reminding will help that. He wasn't riding on the grass to get ahead. He's clearly out of shape long before Both he and DiMeglio ventured to the other side of the rumble strip. Their collision surely did not further draw Dimeglio to the inside of the curve. The whole pack just shrunk the corner so fast that there were a lot of riders breaking too late. Debon was just the first offender. If he was missing from the picture, I think a crash would have happened anyway. Too many riders, too little space. That's not excusing his move. He's the most experienced rider on the grid and should know better. I just wouldn't quite hang him from the nearest tree with a multi-race suspension.

It doesn't matter whether Debon hurt himself or not. He missed his braking marker by at least 20m in an attempt to dive bomb the inside line which was clearly going to be full of bikes by the time he arrived. He took out 9 people.

There is more than enough cause for a suspension. Suspensions used to be quite common for mistakes at the start, but the FIM have gotten away from them. This is the time to reintroduce race suspensions for dangerous first corner antics regardless of Debon's health. If he is injured, a suspension is for his own good and the safety of the other riders.

Which riders didn't attempt to dive bomb the most inside line on a corner that was clearly going to be full of bikes? No one has a breaking marker on the start as you never practice entering that corner at those speeds with that kind of traffic. There were about 5 bikes out front and the rest all wanted that corner at the same time. Yes, he was at fault in this instance. I'm just saying that it's not the case of a 15 year old 125 rider that needs to learn to regret these decisions. The benefit of a suspension will be to serve as a warning to the entire grid. It will happen again at Motegi and in Portugal and maybe even in Germany next week. Hopefully the issue will get the proper attention.

The comment about him being injured wasn't arguing that he shouldn't be suspended. But just that he likely won't remember his rash thoughts that got him suspended.

You don't suspend riders to teach them a lesson. It is a penalty for the havoc you wreaked on your fellow competitors including Tomizawa who was #2 in the championship. If racing were society at large this issue would be settled in civil court and one team would pay the other damages (some of which would be punitive). This isn't society and the civil court system is racing governance which calls for non-monetary remedy to other teams or fines to the governing body which are donated to charity.

You need to stop thinking about the incident from a criminal point of view. There is no punishment and rehabilitation. There is only a civil system between teams. Debon took out 9 riders. His team cannot pay for the damages even if they could it's not permissible b/c it would create bad incentives within the paddock. The FIM have either got to dock riders championship points on a set schedule (i.e. 5 for every bike taken out) or suspend for several events.

We both agree Debon broke no rules, therefore he can't be punished for anything. The "criminality" of the crash is only 1 consideration. The remedy for damages to the other teams is the second consideration. Debon was at fault in an accident that cannot be construed in any way as a racing incident. Suspension is a remedy to the teams who lost equipment, championship points, contingency money, and possibly sponsor bonuses.

I'd prefer that the governing body just dock -5pts for every rider you take out regardless of the cause. This would be a -45pt affair for Debon. No need for suspension, just move on to the next race.

I wonder why they pack them so tight on the grid. Wouldn't it be a simple solution (or at least less problematic) to spread out the rows, or even go to 3 bikes per row? It might work better then a talking to or rules that will be ineffective.

"They were not touching so it doesn't count"... If this is really the rule, it is an insane one. Very cruel indeed. And I'm rather sure that bike and rider touched pretty hard crossing the line.

This race was astonishing, though perhaps not for all the right reasons.
Did Debon have a brain snap?
How on earth did Morales get out of his incident relatively unscathed?
Couldn't Iannone's team have put out a clear message to him (the race official's board was frankly confusing)?

On a happier note, whilst it was good to see Takahashi and Tech 3 come to the fore, I was most pleased to see Ant West and MZ show some better speed. I would love to see both rider and the venerable MZ marque have a bit of success...

Andrew Matusiewicz
Canberra, Australia