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GP Week : Issue 116
SpaniSh supporters had started to despair of teenage 125 champion Marc Marquez. his Moto2 career had started fast when he led early tests ... but three races so far had ended in three crashes, and questions were being asked. The 18-year-old answered them at Le Mans. He’d qualified sixth and finished the first lap ninth. Then, as pole qualifier Stefan Bradl (Viessman Kiefer Kalex) led a tight field from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Suter) and the rest, Marquez’s orange Repsol Catalunya Caixa Suter picked its way forward. Fancied runner Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Suter) had crashed out on the first lap, removing one threat to the leaders. After ten laps, the leading group had shrunk to six strong, Marquez at the back of it. Behind Bradl and Luthi were Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Suter), Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Moriwaki) and Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex). Soon after half distance Marquez was ahead of the fading Espargaro, and starting to mix it with the gang. At the same time, Bradl – on a different tyre choice – had lost the lead to Luthi, then two more places as Takahashi and Marquez sneaked past. With Simon at the back, battle raged for a couple of laps ... until Marquez moved firmly past Luthi (at his second attempt) into the first corner at the start of lap 22. From there to the end he pulled steadily clear as if with accustomed ease to win by almost two second. Takahashi came through to second with four laps left, and hung on grimly ahead of Bradl. Simon and Luthi were next, the some way back Espargaro. Simon Corsi (Ioda FTR) managed to hang on in seventh, under severe attack at the end from Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter), who had passed Bradley Smith (Tech 3) with two laps to go. Smith was kept busy fending off Alex de Angelis (JiR Motobi) over the line. Bradl extended his points lead over Simon, 77 to 49; with Iannone (48) dropping to third. Moto2: That Marquez moment MOTOGP LE MANS >> 29