Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Estoril:
Stefan Bradl has taken his second win of the 2011 season, holding off a strong challenge from Julian Simon and taking advantage of race crashes by Andrea Iannone and Thomas Luthi to take a comfortable lead in the world championship.
Bradl took the lead away from the line, the Viessmann Kiefer rider taking control of the race in the early laps. Behind Bradl, the chasing group quickly sorted itself out, with Thomas Luthi at its head, and Yuki Takahashi, Dominique Aegerter, Kenan Sofuoglu, Julian Simon and Marc Marquez following. Luthi started to close on Bradl, while Sofuoglu wormed his way past his Technomag CIP teammate Aegerter, who would go on to form a rolling roadblock for the first half of the race.
By lap 3, Luthi had caught Bradl, and was past the German going into Turn 1. But Luthi's eagerness betrayed him, as in his attempt to push on and escape from Bradl, he carried a little too much speed through Estoril's treacherous final corner, losing the front and wiping himself out of the race.
Bradl's next challenge would come from Kenan Sofuoglu. After Luthi crashed out, Sofuoglu started pushing to catch the Viessmann Kiefer rider. He edged closer and closer, getting into Bradl's slipstream on lap 8, but pushing harder for a pass saw the former World Supersport champion run wide and lose touch, and from that point on, Sofuoglu's pace began to lag. The Technomag CIP rider dropped slowly back through the field, finally crashing out on lap 18.
Coming forward through the field was Andrea Iannone. After another poor qualifying, the Speed Master rider sitting in 14th on the grid, Iannone had his customary rocket lit under his tail. The Italian set a scorching pace, lapping well over half a second faster than the rest of the field for a large part of the race. By lap 9, Iannone was up to 6th, and by lap 15 was already up to 3rd. It took him 5 more laps to work his way past Simon and into 2nd, and a couple more to get ahead of Bradl, the German mounting a valiant defense on the brakes going into Turn 1.
But on lap 22, Iannone barged ahead of Bradl as they worked their way round the stadium section of the Estoril circuit, then set about pushing to create a gap. He pushed a little too hard through Estoril's 1st gear chicane, however, losing the front and going down at turn 9. The Italian was able to rejoin and come home 13th, but it was a bitter disappointment after such a brilliant ride through the field to take over the lead.
Bradl's battle with Iannone had allowed Simon to catch the German, but the Mapfre Aspar rider could never quite get close enough to mount a serious challenge. Bradl went on to take a close victory ahead of Simon, with Yuki Takahashi clinching the final podium spot, benefitting from keeping his head while others around him all lost theirs. The San Carlo Gresini rider was very emotional on entering parc ferme, dedicating his 3rd place to the memory of his brother, who died in a road traffic accident just last week.
More to follow ASAP:
|9||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||TECH 3||45'07.401||26.636|
|12||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||MOTOBI||45'20.678||39.913|
|15||80||Axel PONS||PONS KALEX||45'28.171||47.406|
|16||35||Raffaele DE ROSA||MORIWAKI||45'28.790||48.025|
|26||19||Xavier SIMEON||TECH 3||46'08.365||1'27.600|
|27||13||Anthony WEST||MZ-RE HONDA||46'17.305||1'36.540|
|28||95||Mashel AL NAIMI||MORIWAKI||45'43.284||1 lap|
|29||38||Bradley SMITH||TECH 3||44'44.650||2 laps|
|53||Valentin DEBISE||FTR||40'13.825||3 laps|
|14||Ratthapark WILAIROT||FTR||37'03.325||5 laps|
|36||Mika KALLIO||SUTER||31'30.802||8 laps|
|40||Aleix ESPARGARO||PONS KALEX||31'44.382||8 laps|
|54||Kenan SOFUOGLU||SUTER||30'54.080||9 laps|
|16||Jules CLUZEL||SUTER||19'03.308||15 laps|
|97||Steven ODENDAAL||SUTER||13'09.833||19 laps|
|12||Thomas LUTHI||SUTER||8'13.928||22 laps|