Alex de Angelis takes first Moto2 win of 2011 at Australian Grand Prix
Alex de Angelis passed Stefan Bradl on the last lap and then survived a punt up the rear from the German to take his first Moto2 victory of the year at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island
Bradl's second place, however, allowed him to retake the championship lead from Marc Marquez, who nevertheless took an amazing third place from the back of the 38-bike grid.
De Angelis made a bad start from pole position on his JiR Motobi and looked to be out of the picture when Bradl passed him for fifth place under braking for the MG hairpin on lap three.
The pair hit the front as early as lap five, however; Bradl using a slipstream down the start/finish straight, to put his Kiefer Kalex ahead of Scott Redding's Marc VDS Suter, and de Angelis then unceremoniously shoving the British rider wide at the Doohan corner.
The pair were rarely more than half a second apart after that, and traded the lead a few times during the middle of the race.
The crucial moment came on the final lap. De Angelis took the lead into Doohan, but was then hit up the rear by Bradl under braking for the next corner. While the San Marinese rider kept control of his bike, Bradl had to work hard to keep his on the asphalt and avoid running onto the grass.
He finished 1.358s behind de Angelis, who won for the first time since last year's Australian Moto2 race.
After being given a one-minute qualifying penalty for taking off Ratthapak Wilairot during practice, Marquez delivered a typically charging performance. He made it up from 38th to 16th by the end of the first lap and kept on climbing.
By lap five the Spaniard was into the top 10 and the Catalunya Suter rider then dispatched a gaggle of riders, including Pol Espargaro, Andrea Iannone, Thomas Luthi and Redding to pull himself up to fourth.
It took him another handful of laps to close onto the tail of Claudio Corti, whom he passed for third with seven laps remaining. Undeterred, Corti kept his Italtrans Suter on his rival's tail and made several unsuccessful attempts to wrest the final podium spot on the last lap.
While Corti's fourth spot represented a career-best in Moto2, Marquez's podium finish means his championship deficit to Bradl is just three points, when it could have been far worse.
Espargaro finished fifth on his Speed Up FTR after earlier surrendering the lead by running wide at Siberia, while Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag Suter) and Redding were next up.
Iannone (Speed Master Suter) was eighth, benefitting from Mike di Meglio running wide and losing a handful of places on his Tech 3 at half distance.
Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Moriwaki) completed the top 10 after first Bradley Smith (Tech 3) and then Luthi took trips through the gravel; the latter after tagging the rear of Espargaro's bike going into Doohan.
Pos Rider Team Time 1. Alex De Angelis JIR Moto2 39m44.774s 2. Stefan Bradl Viessmann Kiefer Racing + 1.358 3. Marc Marquez Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol + 6.362 4. Claudio Corti Italtrans Racing Team + 6.475 5. Pol Espargaro HP Tuenti Speed Up + 14.815 6. Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP + 15.155 7. Scott Redding Marc VDS Racing Team + 15.261 8. Andrea Iannone Speed Master + 16.047 9. Mike Di Meglio Tech 3 Racing + 16.331 10. Yuki Takahashi Gresini Racing Moto2 + 20.337 11. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 + 22.081 12. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP + 26.248 13. Aleix Espargaro Pons HP 40 + 29.295 14. Michele Pirro Gresini Racing Moto2 + 30.203 15. Simone Corsi Ioda Racing Project + 30.745 16. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team + 30.776 17. Ricard Cardus QMMF Racing Team + 30.784 18. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Racing + 43.520 19. Axel Pons Pons HP 40 + 47.064 20. Raffaele De Rosa NGM Forward Racing + 50.357 21. Randy Krummenache GP Team Switzerland Kiefer + 50.364 22. Kenny Noyes Avintia-STX + 04.747 23. Joan Olive Aeroport de Castello + 04.907 24. Yonny Hernandez Blusens-STX + 19.734 25. Ivan Moreno Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 + 1 lap 26. Santiago Hernandez SAG Team + 1 lap 27. Blake Leigh-Smith BRP Racing + 1 lap 28. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Racing Team + 1 lap Retirements: Rider Team Laps Robertino Pietri Italtrans Racing Team 5 laps Valentin Debise Speed Up 6 laps Kris Mclaren BRP Racing 11 laps Xavier Simeon Tech 3 B 13 laps Jules Cluzel NGM Forward Racing 13 laps Max Neukirchner MZ Racing Team 24 laps Mattia Pasini Ioda Racing Project Jordi Torres Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Esteve Rabat Blusens-STX Anthony West MZ Racing Team
Alex de Angelis takes late Moto2 pole for Australian Grand Prix
Marc Marquez to stay in Moto2 next season