Italy's Andrea Iannone cheered up a biking nation at Mugello on Sunday by dominating the Moto2 class, in the wake of Valentino Rossi's leg-breaking crash yesterday.
From pole position, Iannone produced a brilliant start and his Speed Up machine was never headed in the 41-bike field. He coasted across the finish line 2.7s clear of the pack, but had led by over 7s at mid-distance and was totally unchallenged throughout.
"Even running out at the front it was still a difficult race, and I pushed very hard," said Iannone. "If you have an advantage you've got to make the most of it. Everything worked really well for me today, and I hope I can keep this going."
In a thrilling battle for second, Spain's Sergio Gadea (Pons Kalex) ruined an Italian 1-2 when he slipstreamed past Simone Corsi (Motobi) on the drag to the finish line. Corsi had lunged past him on the entry to the final turn, Bucine, but that sufficiently compromised his exit.
"I'm delighted with my first podium in Moto2," said Gadea. "I tried that move on Corsi the lap before the last one and it worked out. It was a great race, we left nothing behind on track and I was looking behind me after every corner because there was so much going on."
Besides Iannone, Corsi was the star of the race, surging through from 26th on the grid to finish third. He beat Thomas Luthi (Moriwaki) to the final podium position by just 0.015s.
"I had a problem with the tyres which is why we struggled yesterday, but it was much better today," said Corsi. "It was such a fun race, passing rider after rider. And it was great to beat Elias and Tomizawa for championship."
Series leader Toni Elias (Moriwaki) finished fifth, ahead of title rival Shoya Tomizawa (Suter). Both of them had run as high as second, as the position changed hands numerous times over the 20 laps, but the Japanese had two massive moments in the final stages of the race.
Tomizawa said: "I made a mistake and almost got a high-side, and then had another near miss, so to come back to sixth position was okay. At least I finished."
Elias leads the points from Tomizawa by 19, with Gadea moving up to fourth behind Corsi. Iannone's win promotes him to sixth.
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap 1. Andrea Iannone Speed Up/Honda 41m05.374s 2. Sergio Gadea Pons Kalex/Honda +2.764 3. Simone Corsi Motobi/Honda +2.799 4. Thomas Luthi Moriwaki/Honda +2.814 5. Toni Elias Moriwaki/Honda +3.404 6. Shoya Tomizawa Suter/Honda +3.826 7. Gabor Talmacsi Speed Up/Honda +7.209 8. Yuki Takahashi Tech 3/Honda +8.377 9. Julian Simon Suter/Honda +8.584 10. Alex Debon FTR/Honda +8.931 11. Alex de Angelis Scot/Honda +9.149 12. Hector Faubel Suter/Honda +9.991 13. Alex Baldolini ICP/Honda +12.219 14. Stefan Bradl Suter/Honda +19.110 15. Fonsi Nieto Moriwaki/Honda +19.680 16. Dominique Agerter Suter/Honda +19.994 17. Karel Abraham FTR/Honda +24.969 18. Roberto Rolfo Suter/Honda +25.769 19. Xavier Simeon Moriwaki/Honda +31.094 20. Yonni Hernandez BQR/Honda +31.171 21. Scott Redding Suter/Honda +37.770 22. Claudio Corti Suter/Honda +39.183 23. Valentin Debise ADV/Honda +39.405 24. Arne Tode Suter/Honda +40.613 25. Vladimir Leonov Suter/Honda +43.358 26. Kenny Noyes Promo Harris/Honda +43.997 27. Anthony West MZ/Honda +53.748 28. Niccolo Canepa Scot/Honda +54.387 29. Bernat Martinez Bimota/Honda +57.035 30. Yannick Guerra Moriwaki/Honda +58.612 Not classified Robertino Pietri Suter/Honda 18 laps Rutthapark Wilairot Bimota/Honda 16 laps Mike Di Meglio Suter/Honda 15 laps Vladimir Ivanov Moriwaki/Honda 15 laps Raffaele De Rosa Tech 3/Honda 11 laps Mattia Pasini Motobi/Honda 7 laps Jules Cluzel Suter/Honda 4 laps Axel Pons Pons Kalex/Honda 4 laps Anthony Delhalle BQR/Honda 3 laps Lukas Pesek Moriwaki/Honda 2 laps Joan Olive Promo Harris/Honda DNS