2012 Catalunya Moto2 Race Result: Tough Fight And Controversial Incident Settles Podium

Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Barcelona:

Andrea Iannone has taken his first victory of 2012 with an impressive display, holding off challenges from Marc Marquez and Thomas Luthi in the last few laps to win the Catalunya Moto2 race. A controversial incident between Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez saw Espargaro crash out, giving Marquez a comfortable lead in the championship.

The three leaders broke away early, Iannone taking the lead on the first lap, to be joined by Marquez and Luthi a few laps later. The leading trio were chased down very slowly by Pol Espargaro, who sat behind Iannone, Marquez and Luthi as they battled it out. Marquez and Iannone swapped the lead a number of times, then Luthi intervened to take 2nd. That too would not last, with Marquez quickly back to have another shot at Iannone.

As the laps ticked off, Espargaro started to join the melee, passing Luthi to chase Marquez. Luthi came back, and on lap 21, Luthi dived under Marquez into turn 10, pushing Marquez a little wide. Marquez almost lost the front, saved it, but as he cut back, he cut straight into Espargaro, who was passing underneath him. Espargaro was thrown from his bike, but after investigation by Race Direction, no action was taken against Marquez.

The incident had caused Marquez to lose too much time, leaving victory to be decided between Luthi and Iannone. Luthi took the lead briefly, but Iannone was not to be denied, taking back the lead at the start of the first lap and defending his line to take the win. Luthi was forced to settle for 2nd, while Marquez crossed the line in 3rd. 

Espargaro's crash is very costly, Marquez now leading his fellow Spaniard by 15 points. But it is Luthi who has taken the lead in the championship, ahead of Marquez by 88 points to 86.

~~~ UPDATE ~~~

After the race was over, Marc Marquez was awarded a 1 minute penalty, dropping the Spaniard down to 23rd place and out of the points. Marquez now has 70 points, and is 1 point behind Espargaro once again. Luthi is now the clear leader in the championship.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 29 Andrea IANNONE SPEED UP 41'16.852  
2 12 Thomas LUTHI SUTER 41'16.935 0.083
3 80 Esteve RABAT KALEX 41'29.368 12.516
4 3 Simone CORSI FTR 41'31.078 14.226
5 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI KALEX 41'31.924 15.072
6 77 Dominique AEGERTER SUTER 41'33.107 16.255
7 4 Randy KRUMMENACHER KALEX 41'33.206 16.354
8 36 Mika KALLIO KALEX 41'33.458 16.606
9 45 Scott REDDING KALEX 41'33.645 16.793
10 5 Johann ZARCO MOTOBI 41'34.150 17.298
11 38 Bradley SMITH TECH 3 41'39.094 22.242
12 71 Claudio CORTI KALEX 41'40.615 23.763
13 15 Alex DE ANGELIS SUTER 41'40.921 24.069
14 18 Nicolas TEROL SUTER 41'43.891 27.039
15 81 Jordi TORRES TECH 3 41'49.010 32.158
16 76 Max NEUKIRCHNER KALEX 41'51.241 34.389
17 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT SUTER 41'52.239 35.387
18 88 Ricard CARDUS AJR 41'52.353 35.501
19 47 Angel RODRIGUEZ BIMOTA 41'52.475 35.623
20 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI SUTER 41'52.655 35.803
21 49 Axel PONS KALEX 41'53.755 36.903
22 95 Anthony WEST MORIWAKI 42'09.488 52.636
23 93 Marc MARQUEZ SUTER 42'17.989 1'01.137
24 7 Alexander LUNDH MZ-RE HONDA 42'33.161 1'16.309
25 10 Marco COLANDREA FTR 42'35.425 1'18.573
26 82 Elena ROSELL MORIWAKI 42'52.403 1'35.551
Not Classified
  40 Pol ESPARGARO KALEX 35'54.730 3 laps
  44 Roberto ROLFO SUTER 37'10.938 3 laps
  24 Toni ELIAS SUTER 35'46.893 4 laps
  60 Julian SIMON SUTER    
  8 Gino REA SUTER    
  63 Mike DI MEGLIO SPEED UP    

1' penalty imposed to rider #93 Marc Marquez by the Race Direction for infringment to article 1.21.2

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That Marquez seems to be involved in these incidents... or is it down to his uber aggresive style when things are close. During the race he was still doing the swerve cross to the outside when passing under brakes.
These guys have to be aggressive to get to the point in the sport where they are. But leaving enough room for each other on the track is more than professional coutesy at these speeds.
I'd like to see the incident again from the overhead shot..I thought that Espargaro would have been visible on the inside when Marquez moved across.. but maybe not? Pol looked pissed anyway.

There is no doubt Marquez is fast, but he also has a well funded team behind him with access to the latest equipment and data.

He should be at or near the front, but I begin to wonder if he is starting to believe the hype about his ability and future and expects fellow competitors to get out of his way.

He reminds me of Lorenzo in his 250 days.

Hopefully he either cleans up his act and gives his competitors room or one day he is going to be involved in a huge accident where either he or worse, someone else, does not walk away unaided.

Looking a the replay of the incident I reckon Espargaro can thank whatever god he believes in that he is still walking and talking.

"...or one day he is going to be involved in a huge accident where either he or worse, someone else, does not walk away unaided."

He already did that, handing Wilairot a ticket to the hospital last year in Australia by attempting to do a quick lap AFTER the flag was out in free practice. He was penalized with one minute back then as well for what could have easily put Wilairot in the wheelchair or worse. But he got to keep the points he picked up in the race.


IMO, you can't do that w/o looking.
When you make a mistake and get slow and off line, you damn well better LOOK before re-joining. No exceptions.

The nasty part of me is whispering that it was a deliberate chop, but since the dude on the outside usually comes off worse in those situations, that seems unlikely. Just simple target fixation and bloody-mindedness; and a big dose of sheer Bad Luck that Asparagus got launched.

Got to think the penalty was more about all the other incidents MM has been involved in recently. Is it safe to assume that the stewards have had some nice little chats with Marky over the last few races, and that this incident possibly represents the 'last straw?'

Going so wide and then cutting back to the inside of the track like that without looking or being sure no one was there, it's just the same as if Marquez was racing out of pit lane onto the racing line without looking to see who was already on track! No excuses for that one!

As many of you will already have read, Marquez was assessed a 1 minute penalty for the incident with Espargaro after all (Mr. Emmett will likely have updated the above post by the time you read this). In my silly attempt to pretend I'm Race Direction I've reviewed the 'tapes' and below is a link to a screen capture of the two racers a fraction of a second before the collision takes place. My apologies for the big "play" button ghosted over top of the picture.

Watching the video footage building up to the screen capture it looks to me like both of these riders are in complete control of their bikes (Marquez having just recovered from a loss of control) and are both holding the line you see them on. Then Marquez changes his line and moves swiftly to the inside, knocking Espargaro off his bike. I have no idea how Marquez could not have known Espargaro was there based on the position of their bikes prior to the collision.


Good analysis and screen capture, Scott. As much as I appreciate his talent, Marquez seems to race with blinkers on, oblivious to the fact that there are other guys around him who also want the piece of tarmac he wants. He should have realised that once he had lost (and regained) control the guy immediately behind him would have been moving to capitalise on the error, and allowed for it. You can't just slam the door to mitigate your mistake...

Marquez would also have been able to clearly hear Espargaro's bike... I wonder if the marshalls had the blue flags waving at the time?


A frame-by-frame of that camera's videos suggests that MM must be deaf and blind to have "Not Seen" Pol. The other alternative is that he knew all along and chose to drive into his path anyway. Even after Esparago leads by a foot or so, MM continues to squeeze down to the curb. (Look at the distance from MM's rear wheel to the white stripe.)

In either event, I think that awarding MM a penalty of some sort is not such a bad idea.

I'm not sure if it's purely a racing incident or not, but this is the second time
now when peripheral vision (or lack thereof) could have played a role in the
actions of MM, the first this season being the incident with Luthi a couple races back.

Maybe race direction should have MM's vision checked again by a 3rd party.

He didn't see him, or hear him.

MM is a great talent (tho' - I too am starting to wonder if "he's all that").

If it was anyone else in moto2 but Marquez, I am sure the penality would have stuck and then some.

He should have a 1 race suspension so he does'nt "not see" another competitor on the track....

There conculsions are different then mine.... so I will defer on this one;-).


Of course this decision has already generated a fair amount of controversy, and we spoke with several top riders from MotoGP to get their view on what happened.

"I'm not in agreement with the penalty – said Valentino Rossi – His move in Qatar was dirty, and it was right for him to receive an official warning on that occasion, because he left no space for Luthi and forced him off the track. Today, however, was not his fault. Espargaró tried to get into a space that wasn't really open, and then Marquez couldn't see him. As a rider you can't be worried about who is behind you, especially in the last two laps of a race."

Of the same opinion was Jorge Lorenzo.

"I don't think he did it on purpose - the Spaniard declared - He simply didn't see him. He made a harder move in Qatar, but here it was Espargaró who took the risk, and unfortunately he crashed. Sometimes this happens in racing."

Less diplomatic in his response was Casey Stoner.

"I've seen worse, and I can't understand how he was given a penalty. It's just further proof that this sport needs to change."

Taking a more moderate tone was Andrea Dovizioso.

"I think the blame is 50/50. Our helmets really limit your lateral vision: Marquez was in front and couldn't see that Espargaró was there, and Pol couldn't react when Marc changed his line."

I agree with you..

Espargaro going for a gap that was clearly open and where he was level, doesn't constitute him being risky or at fault!
Marquez seemed to tighten and brace for impact rather than taking a wider line..he knew Pol was there.

The ignomy of having race direction rule his bike be fitted with mirrors for three races would be fun..

I think it is ridiculous to penalize Marquez for this. Espargaro is the one who could oversee the situation and he dived for the brief gap. He could expect (and see) Marquez turning back into the corner, so it was a risk that he took. Understandable yes, in that late phase in the race, but still a risk he willingly took. Marquez just saved a near crash, then got back on his line as quickly as he could. And after losing some speed, this tighter, straighter line was also the fastest through that corner.
Stoner sums it up pretty well. Again.

Im confused :S was it not just a few weeks ago that Johnny Rea took out Leon H. at Donington? a rider went wide and he stuffed it on the inside, sending Leon to the pavement, only this time Marques torpedoed Pol from the out side. and what did all the riders say about Rea I think the general comment was "As a racer if you see an opening like that you take it" so Pol took it and Marques took him out, I am a bit taken aback by the riders comments after how much critisium there was for Marco. to me this incident was a blatent move on Marques behalf, but i only watch from the side line.