by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 169
POL PUTS ONE OVER ON MARQUEZ MOTO3 MOTO2 SECOND GOOD ENOUGH FOR SANDRO 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Circuits with long straights make for the closest of racing, especially in the smaller classes. So it was at Aragon, in a race with six different leaders, and the first eight across the line within less than two seconds. For the second time this year, the man in front when it mattered was Spaniard Luis Salom (Kalex KTM), with points leader Sandro Cortese (KTM) second and pole qualifier Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) third. Not among them: Maverick Vinales. The erstwhile title favourite’s FTR Honda didn’t make the start, sputtering to a stop on the warm-up lap and refusing to respond to his and several marshals’ frantic attempts to get it going again. Finally he dropped it to the ground, kicked it hard, and walked away. He missed a lot of fun. The race was a feast of close battling, all elbows and traded paint, with the somewhat astonishing outcome of no major crashes. Of the front men, only Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) paid the price of too much enthusiasm, after leading laps three to five. Others to lead were Folger, Cortese for a long spell, then Alex Rins (Suter Honda) and Briton Danny Kent. With five laps left, the top eight was covered by one second, and also included Efren Vazquez (FTR Honda), Louis Rossi (FTR Honda) and Miguel Oliveira (Suter Honda), with rookie Arthur Sissis (KTM) hanging on just a few feet behind. It’s impossible to describe the action or list the number of overtakes; only to praise the nature of a track that is conducive to this sort of bike racing. In the end, Kent was fourth, then Vazquez, Rins, Rossi and Oliveira. Sissis was ninth, fending off Niccolo Antonelli (FTR Honda) and the rest of another big gang. Cortese stretched his lead to 51 points over new second-place man Salom, 245 to 194. The luckless Vinales has 179, Romano Fenati (who retired early from the front pack) 120, and Rins 106. The long-straight/close-racing rule worked for Moto2, second race of the day, as well. And how. In a repeat of last year’s dust-up there was a tooth-and-nail battle all the way to the flag. It was not, however, for first place. Not over the last couple of laps, anyway. By then, Pol Espargaro (40 HP Kalex) had managed to take advantage of the hand-to-hand combat and use a clear track to gain an advantage of better than 1.5 seconds by the flag. He’d played a prominent role in a race-long brawl: one of a gang trading blows behind long-time leader Marc Marquez (CatalunyaCaixa Suter), along with pole starter Simone Corsi (Came FTR), Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Speed-Up) and Johann Zarco (JiR Motobi). As the laps counted down the group grew bigger: Briton’s Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3) joining in, along with Claudio Corti (Italtrans Kalex) and Esteve Rabat (40 HP Kalex). Only in the closing stages did the group spread out slightly, and on lap 18 – as Redding attacked for third – Espargaro got past Iannone to lead for the first time. It was his good fortune that the rest were fighting without mercy, inevitably slowing one another up. The main protagonists were Marquez, Iannone and Redding, and the action was brutal and fascinating. Nobody gave an inch, passing moves into one corner would be reversed on the way out, the order changing constantly. Marquez’s straight-line speed was conspicuous throughout, but so too was his spirited fighting. Unseen was a gruesome problem for Redding: after Misano he’d undergone surgery to cure arm-pump, and the scar had opened up with eight laps to go. Nothing daunted, he fought to the end, forced to cede second to Marquez’s faster bike on the long straight, but shoving hard to stay ahead of Iannone over the line for his fourth podium of the season. Smith and Zarco were still close behind, then Corsi a second adrift. Torres, Corti and Anthony West made up the top 10. Marquez lost only a little ground in the title battle: 258 points to Espargaro’s 210. Iannone has 178, Luthi (an off-form 12th) 166, with Redding fifth on 131. MOTOGP >>> ARAGON