Czech GP, Brno: Race Review – MotoGP, Moto2, 125cc
Casey Stoner captured his sixth win of the season in front of 155,400 fans at Brno for Sunday’s Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky, stretching his Championship lead to 32 points over Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) got the hole shot from his first pole position of the season, with Lorenzo taking the lead from him on the second lap. Stoner then took second from the Yamaha rider, just as Pedrosa crashed out of the front of the field, handing the Australian the lead.
While Stoner lengthened the gap at the head of the pack, Lorenzo came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), the Italian passing the Spaniard to take and hold second position for his fifth podium of the season. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) then caught and passed Lorenzo, moving into the third podium spot and keeping it until the finish line, the first podium of his MotoGP class career.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) slowly moved in on Lorenzo, but the American was unable to get close enough to make a move for fourth position, finishing the race behind his team mate in fifth.
Valentino Rossi was the first Ducati Team rider across the line, finishing sixth from his best qualifying position of the season, also sixth. The Italian’s team mate Nicky Hayden followed in seventh, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) rounding out the top ten.
Cal Crutchlow crashed out in turn one, resulting in the fourth DNF of the season for the British rookie. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) also had a fall; he rejoined the race but later retired with a mechanical failure. The two were joined in the pits in retirement by Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who low sided trying to make a move on Rossi for sixth position.
Andrea Iannone took his first win, and consequently podium, since his triumph at the second round in Jerez. The Italian Speed Master rider crossed the line ahead of Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) in second, Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) in third and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) fourth as the four riders scrapped for all podium positions, bodies and bikes touching in the struggle.
Championship leader Bradl led into turn one off the start, with Márquez and Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) close behind. By lap three, it appeared the German rider had a solid lead, with De Angelis, Iannone, and Márquez forming the chasing pack, until Iannone took started his charge to the front, catching and passing Bradl on lap 13.
With three laps to go, it was a free for all between the four riders, with Iannone making a pass on Márquez on the last lap to take the top spot on the podium, moving the Italian from seventh to fourth in the Championship chase. Fourth place for de Angelis moves the San Marino rider up into third in the Championship.
Lüthi crossed the line in fifth, followed by Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) in tenth.
Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing), Carmelo Morales (Desguaces La Torre G22) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) all had falls and retired from the race.
A great start from pole sitter Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar) put him in the lead at the start of the 19 lap race, where he was joined Sachsenring race winner Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), who got a tremendous launch off the fourth row. Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) quickly passed into the second position, and the two Championship leaders broke from the pack.
But with 11 laps to go, 22 year old Terol dropped out of the lead with a mechanical problem, forcing the Spaniard to retire and opening the class Championship charge up. The battle for first then ensued between Zarco and 21 year old Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany). A lead swapping battle ensued, their lap times dropping as both fought it out for their first Grand Prix win.
Side by side in the last corner, Cortese took the inside line and fiercely held onto the lead, the Frenchman making an attempt to pass and nearly going down, giving the German rider his first victory and moving him up into the fourth spot in the Championship. Zarco finished second yet again, his fourth of the last five races, the final race denying him the win by a photo finish in Germany.
The last podium spot was up for grabs after Terol retired, and a five man skirmish unfolded between Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), Faubel, Gadea, Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) and Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica). Moncayo crossed the line at the front of the pack taking his first podium, as Oliveira crashed in the last corner.
Faubel took fourth, followed by Gadea, Viñales, Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) and Simone Grotzkyj (Phonica Racing). Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-SIC-Ajo) and Jasper Iwema (Ongetta-Abbink Metaal) had their best finishes to date, finishing in the ninth and tenth positions.
Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) had a crash in the morning warm up, fracturing his right hand and leaving him unable to participate in the race.