Andrea Iannone takes first Moto2 win of 2012

Andrea Iannone claimed his first Moto2 victory of the year with an excellent ride under heavy pressure at Catalunya, while Marc Marquez and erstwhile championship leader Pol Espargaro clashed in controversial manner three laps from the end

Andrea Iannone takes first Moto2 win of 2012

Marquez and Espargaro had been two of the primary reasons Iannone could not be assured of victory despite leading for the majority of the race. Along with Thomas Luthi, the lead quartet was rarely separated by more than six tenths of a second.

While the lead occasionally changed hands at the first turn, the crucial moment of the race came three laps from the finish when Luthi (Paddock Suter) dived down the inside of Marquez at Turn 10.

Marquez (Monlau Suter) lost the front of his bike but was able to rescue the situation almost instantly, although he lost second and surrendered ground.

That invited his title rival Espargaro (Pons Kalex) to dive down the inside, but as Marquez pulled back onto line the pair touched. Espargaro crashed out, suffering a heavy high-side into the gravel, while Marquez was able to continue.

In contrast to his controversial move on Luthi at Qatar, Marquez seemed to know little about where Espargaro was, although race control is reviewing the incident.

The battle for the lead was still on, but Iannone managed to resist a final lap dive from Luthi to seal a first win of the year for his Speed Master Speed Up squad.

Luthi does however have the comfort of now leading the championship, two points ahead of Marquez.

It was similarly frantic behind the lead four, with a multitude of riders involved in the fight for fifth - which became fourth following Espargaro's crash.

Esteve Rabat (Pons Kalex) eventually claimed the position ahead of Simone Corsi (Ioda FTR) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Kalex), although Toni Elias (Aspar Suter) was also involved until he crashed out seven laps from the end.

Results - 23 laps:

Pos  Rider                Team/Bike                 Time/Gap
 1.  Andrea Iannone       Speed Master Speed Up   41m16.852s
 2.  Thomas Luthi         Paddock Suter             + 0.083s
 3.  Marc Marquez         Monlau Suter              + 1.137s
 4.  Esteve Rabat         Pons Kalex               + 12.516s
 5.  Simone Corsi         Ioda FTR                 + 14.226s
 6.  Takaaki Nakagami     Italtrans Kalex          + 15.072s
 7.  Dominique Aegerter   Technomag-Cip Suter      + 16.255s
 8.  Randy Krummenacher   Switzerland Kalex        + 16.354s
 9.  Mika Kallio          Marc VDS Kalex           + 16.606s
10.  Scott Redding        Marc VDS Kalex           + 16.793s
11.  Johann Zarco         JIR Motobi               + 17.298s
12.  Bradley Smith        Tech 3                   + 22.242s
13.  Claudio Corti        Italtrans Kalex          + 23.763s
14.  Alex de Angelis      Forward Suter            + 24.069s
15.  Nicolas Terol        Aspar Suter              + 27.039s
16.  Jordi Torres         Tech 3                   + 32.158s
17.  Max Neukirchner      Kiefer Kalex             + 34.389s
18.  Ratthapark Wilairot  Gresini Suter            + 35.387s
19.  Ricard Cardus        Arguinano AJR            + 35.501s
20.  Angel Rodriguez      SAG Bimota               + 35.623s
21.  Yuki Takahashi       Forward Suter            + 35.803s
22.  Axel Pons            Pons Kalex               + 36.903s
23.  Anthony West         QMMF Moriwaki            + 52.636s
24.  Alexander Lundh      MZ                     + 1m16.309s
25.  Marco Colandrea      SAG FTR                + 1m18.573s
26.  Elena Rosell         QMMF Moriwaki          + 1m35.551s

Retirements:

     Pol Espargaro        Pons Kalex                 20 laps
     Roberto Rolfo        Technomag-Cip Suter        20 laps
     Toni Elias           Aspar Suter                19 laps
     Julian Simon         Avintia Suter               0 laps
     Gino Rea             Gresini Suter               0 laps
     Mike di Meglio       Speed Master Speed Up       0 laps
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Marc Marquez grabs another Moto2 pole at Catalunya
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