Márquez Wins Breathtaking Moto2 Battle
LOSAIL, Qatar – Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) beat Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) to victory in the first race of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship by just 0.061s, as the intermediate class put on an absorbing 20-lap encounter at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.
Following a race-long battle for the lead which involved up to seven riders at one point, Márquez and Iannone came out of the last corner on the final lap neck-and-neck, with the Spaniard winning out in the sprint for the chequered flag by the slimmest of margins. After being enveloped in a tight group of riders scrapping for first position, the two eventually finished over a second clear of the remainder of the chasing pack.
Completing the podium after being involved in the fight for victory for the most part Pol Espargaró (Pons 40 HP Tuenti), who at one stage had led, crossed in third after spending the closing stages of the race locked in combat with his team-mate Esteve Rabat who finished fourth.
Crossing the finish line in fifth position was Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock), who had started from pole position and who spent the entire race in the leading group. The Swiss rider’s challenge for victory ended going into the final lap however, when he ran wide at Turn 1 as he and Márquez went head-to-head.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) rode a strong final few laps to take sixth position from 13th on the starting grid, and he finished just 0.026s ahead Frenchman Mike di Meglio (S/Master Speed Up). Simone Corsi (Came Iodaracing Project) had played his part in the show at the front during the race and eventually ended eighth, with Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top 10.
Riders also leaving Round 1 with points on the board included Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland), Moto2 rookie Johann Zarco (JiR Moto2), returning 2010 Champion Toni Elías (Mapfre Aspar Team), Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team) and Julián Simón (Blusens Avintia), who all finished inside the top 15.
Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) had been involved in the battle for points but crashed out with two laps remaining, and British rookie Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) ended his debut GP in 26th position.