Moto2: Kallio battles to take maiden victory
KTM's Mika Kallio scored his first 250cc win after a tough battle throughout the wet 250cc race at Motegi
Kallio continued on as he has done in recent years at Motegi, having won the 125cc race the previous two years. Andrea Dovizioso led more than once but had to settle for second in the end, closing the gap to championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to 36 points.
Completing the podium was Hector Barbera, another contender for the win who faded in the closing laps as rain began to fall again.
The start of the race saw Dovizioso make a break at the front, as Lorenzo fell down the order. By lap five there was a lead group of four: Andrea Dovizioso leading Hiroshi Aoyama, Yuki Takahashi and Mika Kallio, as the rest of the field quickly dropped away.
These four, who were soon joined by Hector Barbera, traded the lead positions between them for the rest of the race. On lap eight Dovizioso was demoted to third as Takahashi and Barbera forced past him, losing another place to Kallio on lap ten as Takahashi opened a break in the lead.
Lap twelve saw Kallio move ahead of Barbera into second, while a desperate move by Barbera on the next lap trying to take third place back from Aoyama allowed Dovizioso to sneak back past both of them.
Dovizioso soon closed on the lead duo. Lap 17 saw mayhem, as Dovizioso took second from Kallio, only to lose the position to Kallio at the next corner.
Kallio immediately went on the attack and passed Takahashi for the lead, who didn't stay second as Dovizioso went past as well, while Aoyama closed in to make a group of four fighting for the win.
A lap later Dovizioso retook the lead, while Aoyama slipped past Takahashi into third. Dovizioso's lead only lasted a lap however, Kallio moving back ahead with Aoyama following past Dovizioso too.
Meanwhile Takahashi had an off, but rejoined and only lost one place.
With two laps remaining Dovizioso retook second place from Aoyama. Any hopes Aoyama had of regaining the place ended when he fell at the next corner, although he was able to remount and take a top ten finish.
This left Kallio and Dovizioso to fight it out for the win. Any slim hopes Dovizioso had of wrestling the lead went when he got baulked lapping backmarkers with just over a lap remaining, allowing Kallio to take his first-ever victory in the 250cc class.
Dovizioso's second place allowed him to close the margin on championship leader Lorenzo who finished the race in eleventh place. Barbera ended up taking a podium finish, while Yuki Takahashi finished fourth despite his off.
Alex de Angelis made a poor start but recovered to take fifth to still have an outside chance at the championship, while faller Hiroshi Aoyama and pole man Shuhei Aoyama finished in eighth and ninth respectively.
CLASSIFIED: Pos Rider Make Time 1. Mika Kallio KTM 48:28.585 2. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 4.893 3. Hector Barbera Aprilia + 21.527 4. Yuki Takahashi Honda + 23.488 5. Alex de Angelis Aprilia + 25.378 6. Julian Simon Honda + 42.264 7. Marco Simoncelli Gilera + 48.782 8. Hiroshi Aoyama KTM + 57.782 9. Shuhei Aoyama Honda +1:09.049 10. Thomas Luthi Aprilia +1:10.837 11. Jorge Lorenzo Aprilia +1:13.035 12. Seijin Oikawa Yamaha +1:26.371 13. Jules Cluzel Aprilia +1:36.236 14. Youichi Ui Yamaha +1:47.098 15. Alvaro Bautista Aprilia +1:50.081 16. R. Locatelli Gilera +1:58.741 17. Aleix Espargaro Aprilia +2:06.782 18. Imre Toth Aprilia +2:10.415 19. Eugene Laverty Honda + 1 lap 20. Yuki Hamamoto Yamaha + 1 lap NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Rider Make On Lap Dan Linfoot Aprilia 19 Fabrizio Lai Aprilia 17 Takumi Takahashi Honda 3 R. Wilairot Honda 2 Dirk Heidolf Aprilia 1 Karel Abraham Aprilia 0 Alex Baldolini Aprilia 0 Efren Vazquez Aprilia 0
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