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GP Week : Issue 80
At Qatar, Moto2 had the biggest winning margin of the day. At Jerez, the new four- stroke class fulfilled all promises of close racing all the way to the flag. It also fulfilled predictions of carnage. The first attempt lasted less than two laps before Qatar winner Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag Suter) fell while trying too hard to pass early leader Simone Corsi (JIR Motobi) at Dry Sack hairpin. His bike spilled oil or petrol, and Toni Elias (Gresini Moriwaki) right behind also fell ... followed by another five riders in a melee of bikes and bodies. Amazingly, although Elias was clobbered by a sliding bike, nobody was hurt and all bikes escaped unscathed, and the race was restarted promptly with a full grid, cut back from 26 laps to 17. This time most of them stayed on, for a feast of tooth-and-nail racing. After ten laps, a lead group of seven was still covered by less than 1.3 seconds. And the gang would get bigger. Elias and Tomizawa were disputing the early lead, then American Kenny Noyes (Jack & Jones Promoharris) forced through on lap five, holding on under the most severe pressure for the next five laps. But while he led over the line, at other points of the circuit it was often one or another rider ahead. Now former 125 champion Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki) took to the front briefly, and then Tomizawa, and as the final laps approached the pair stretched a little away from the pack, along with Elias. The dispute went all the way to the flag, with Elias securing a popular second Spanish win of the day by less than two tenths. Tomizawa was second, Luthi third, then Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3), Corsi, Sergio Gadea (Tenerife Pons Kalex) -- up from a slow start in tenth on lap one, Noyes and Simon. MotoGP reject Elias, still carrying an ugly injury to his left hand, was delighted, and promised more to come "when I am in a normal condition". Tomizawa was more concerned about apologising for spilling oil than celebrating second. Alex de Angelis did not make the start, after a heavy crash in morning warm-up. Tomizawa still leads on points, 45 to Elias's 38. Luthi has 25, Cluzel (11th today) 21, and non-finisher Debon 20. Moto2: Elias bounces back after carnage forces restart crowding 24