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GP Week : Issue 158
Cal Crutchlow MOTO2: POL GOES POLE TO FLAG MOTO3: VINALES MAKES SURE OF THIRD WIN Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Kalex) took his second Moto2 win of the season in style, compensating for his Catalunya crash after starting from pole position. But there was plenty of excitement in between – and a desperate battle for second that saw Marc Marquez (CatalunyaCaixa Suter) for once muscled out of the action. His conqueror was home hero Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex), who had started from the front row, and led until ceding the place to Espargaro on the eighth of 18 laps. “I knew it would be elbows at the end,” said Redding. The first lap was a thriller, as second British rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3) forced into the lead round the first corner, only to find himself scrapping tooth and nail with compatriot Redding and the crowd worried they may take one another out. Smith led over the line, one corner later Redding elbowed him firmly aside for the last time. The lead group at half distance was five strong, with Smith off the back of it and losing ground, though he would hang on for sixth. At this point Iannone had just taken second off Redding, with Marquez close and Simone Corsi (Came FTR) on his tail. Espargaro saw his rival coming, and “I did a couple of faster laps to get a little gap.” It worked, and by lap 12 he was more than a second clear of what would soon be a two-bike battle, after Iannone dropped back into a battle for fourth with Corsi, which he narrowly won. Redding took second early in the final lap; Marquez was faster on the straight and got through again, but Redding not for giving up. The pair clashed as he forced his way back through the last corner complex, and the Briton secured second by half-a -tenth. Smith was sixth, staying clear of a pressing Claudio Corti (Italtrans Kalex). Thomas Luthi (Inter wetten Suter) closed up on the pair at the end. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Suter) was a lone ninth; Mika Kallio (Mark VDS Kalex) finally won a race-long battle with Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Suter) for tenth. Marquez regained the points lead, 102 to Espargaro’s 96. Luthi has 96, Iannone 84 and Redding 70. Wide open spaces and low-powered motorbikes made a fine combination: a huge pack battling for the lead and a variety of lines and braking points making for plenty of shuffling. At half distance there were still seven bikes within the space of one second, and two more within a few more tenths. Cream always rises, and while Maverick Vinales (Blusens FTR Honda) doesn’t always win, he did so this time, his third this year, and by the same nine-tenths margin that had previously covered the pack. It further reinforced his reputation as the man most likely to. The 17-year-old Spaniard led more laps than anybody else, at least over the line; but it was different at other parts of the long circuit, and five times the man in front past the pits was Luis Salom (RW Kalex KTM). The third man to follow Vinales, when he broke away by a second after lap ten, was Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM). The trio was still close as they started the last lap, Salom once again in front. But it was Vinales through into the first corner, making use of the clear track for a blinding lap while the other two cost each other time by tussling. Salom claimed second, by less than a tenth. “It is so difficult here because of the long straight,” said Vinales, never able to break the tow. “On the last lap, I pushed to all my potential.” There was still a big gang of seven battling behind, most of whom had seen the front at least once, if only briefly. Louis Rossi () crashed on the last lap, leaving six over the line within 1.108 seconds: Alexis Masbou (Honda), Efren Vazquez (FTR Honda), Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM), Romano Fenati (FTR Honda), Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia KTM). Australian rookie Sissis had gained places impressively after qualifying 15th. Vinales took the points lead, 105 points to Cortese’s 103. Salom is now third on 75, then Fenati (61) and Rossi (45). 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> SILVERSTONE