Iannone shines at gloomy Jerez

Andrea Iannone took a comfortable fourth Moto2 victory of his career at Jerez.

The race began with Alex de Angelis jumping the start and Yuki Takahashi taking the lead into turn one. It was a superb start from the Japanese rider that gave him the early advantage from the pole sitter, Stefan Bradl. Moto2 rookie Bradley Smith made a storming start and was third at the first corner before moving past Bradl and Takahashi by turn four to lead the race. The Briton looked surefooted in the early stages, while riders such as Takahashi looked anything but. The experienced star was lucky not to high side in the opening corners.

Simone Corsi made a superb start and the Italian shot from 18th on the grid to fourth at the end of the opening tour aboard his FTR. On the second lap Corsi found a way past Takahashi and gave chase to early leaders Smith and Thomas Luthi. At the hairpin Corsi elbowed his way into the lead with Luthi following him through past Smith who fell to third.

Next time around De Angelis was given his inevitable ride through penalty while Bradl was falling further and further away from the leaders. The German was clearly ill at ease in the rain, a problem which did not affect the spectacular Jules Cluzel. The Frenchman found a way past the championship leader for sixth position in the early laps with Iannone also breathing down the German’s neck for seventh.

It was a stealthy start to the race for Iannone with the Italian avoiding any trouble in the opening corners and making steady progress through the field with safe overtaking moves. It was a very mature performance from Iannone and showed just how far he has come from his early 125cc days when rash overtaking moves were followed by altercations with rival riders.

In the early stages Luthi looked to be the most aggressive of the leading pack. The Swiss star was clearly aware that he needed to get to the front and open a lead otherwise he could face a tough task to keep Iannone at bay with the Italian now in the top five, and only two seconds adrift once Luthi hit the front at the hairpin. Iannone was now looking menacing and on lap seven he moved from fifth to second with a series of overtaking moves on Takahashi, Smith and Corsi. He was now closing in fast on Luthi.

The fight at the front calmed down until half distance when Iannone finally moved past Luthi to take a lead that he would not relinquish after a well judged move down the home straight. A couple of laps earlier had seen an ill judged overtaking move from Cluzel take the Frenchman and Marc Marquez, who needed to be stretchered away from the accident, out of contention.

With the conditions getting worse they were not the only riders to crash; Takahashi lost control of his Moriwaki at the ultra fast Ferrari corner. It was a disappointing end to the race for Takahashi who had been running in a comfortable fourth position. The leaders would run largely unchanged until the flag with Bradl and Smith the most interesting fight. Ultimately Smith would prevail after Bradl began suffering from a lack of grip. It was a magnificent performance by the rookie and one that he should build on in the coming races.

Behind the leading group there a terrific scrap for seventh which Alex de Angelis claimed after a magnificent comeback ride from his earlier ride through penalty. Scottish rider Kev Coghlan took a career best eighth position after progressing through the field from 22nd on the grid to finish ahead of Michele Pirro and Max Neukirchner.

Anthony West, Ratthapark Wilairot, Mattia Pasini, Yonny Hernandez and Esteve Rabat rounded out the points scorers on a day when Iannone looked imperious en route to a superb victory.

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