Crash.net's Moto2 top ten: Part 2
9 December 2010
5th - Shoya Tomizawa
Championship position: 13h
Pole positions: 2
Fastest laps: 0
Points finishes: 6 out of 11 starts
Shoya Tomizawa's tragic death at Misano robbed Moto2, and motorcycle grand prix, of one of its newest and most exciting stars.
A best of tenth during his first full (250cc) season in 2009, Tomizawa's talent was unleashed by the more equal equipment offered in Moto2 and he stunned the world by bolting from ninth on the grid to a 4.7sec victory in round one at Qatar.
Another podium and two poles followed before the 19-year-old lost his life at round eleven, Misano.
If Tomizawa had continued his 7.5 points-per-race average (82 points/11 rounds) for the full 17 rounds he would have concluded the championship with 127 points, good enough for sixth place.
But since Tomizawa failed to finish four of those eleven races, and had proven he could win, his potential was surely much higher.
When he did reach the flag (seven times), the Japanese scored an average of 11.7 points per race, meaning Tomizawa might have at least pushed Luthi for fourth if he had raced (and finished) the last six events (6 x 11.7 = 70.2 points, 70.2 points + 82 points= 152.2 points). Luthi scored 156 points.
Sadly we will never know.
4th - Alex de Angelis
Team: RSM Team Scot/JiR Moto2
Bike: Force GP210/MotoBI
Championship position: 11th
Pole positions: 1
Fastest laps: 1
Points finishes: 7 out of 12 starts
Alex de Angelis raced three different motorcycles, for three different teams, in two different championships during 2010, but overcame the uncertainly - and injury - to claim only his second grand prix victory and first for the MotoBI Moto2 chassis.
Dropping down from MotoGP, de Angelis began the year with Team Scot and qualified in fourth place for round one, but was injured on lap one of the very first Moto2 race, forcing him to miss Jerez.
The Sammarinese claimed a best finish of tenth during his five races on the Force chassis, before accepting the offer of a stand-in ride in MotoGP for three rounds. By the time Hiroshi Aoyama was fit to reclaim his place at Interwetten Honda, the Scot team had folded, leaving de Angelis without a ride for Indianapolis.
A deal with JiR was then made from Misano onwards and, after overcoming a tragic debut, de Angelis qualified on the front row next time out at Aragon and later took the first of three podiums at Sepang in Malaysia.
Victory came from pole at Phillip Island and no rider scored more points than de Angelis over the last five rounds. Staying with JiR for 2011, de Angelis will hope that stability can bring the kind of title attack his speed deserves.
3rd - Julian Simon
Team: Mapfre Aspar Team
Championship position: 2nd
Pole positions: 3
Fastest laps: 3
Points finishes: 14 out of 17 starts
Julian Simon overcame an early-season chassis switch to finish runner-up in the inaugural Moto2 World Championship, a position he claimed by just two points from Andrea Iannone.
Like Iannone, Simon took eight podiums. Unlike Iannone, Simon didn't win a race, finishing second no less than five times.
Given that other Suter riders (Tomizawa, Cluzel, Rolfo and Bradl) did win races, and that Simon and the Aspar team were always expected to be title contenders, we placed Iannone above Simon in our list.
2nd - Andrea Iannone
Team: Fimmco Speed Up
Bike: Speed Up
Championship position: 3rd
Pole positions: 5
Fastest laps: 6
Points finishes: 13 out of 17 starts
At times this year Andrea Iannone seemed to be riding in a different championship, such was his dominance at Mugello, Assen and Aragon (where he took Moto2's biggest victory at 6.2sec).
The Italian claimed more fastest laps than any other rider, and was second in terms of race wins behind only world champion Toni Elias.
And Iannone could easily have won several more races had it not been for 'incidents'; such as a yellow flag penalty while leading at Catalunya, a crash after closing within sight of the leaders at Estoril and then contact from behind by Toni Elias while leading on the last lap at Valencia.
All this from a rider that finished a championship best of seventh during five previous seasons in 125cc.
Off the bike, Iannone matured enormously from the controversial figure he had sometimes been in the two-stroke class - he head-butted Pol Espargaro after a collision in the 2009 Misano race - proving gracious in defeat and cool-headed when events worked against him.
Iannone finished the season with almost twice as many points as team-mate, 2009 MotoGP rider and former 125cc world champion Gabor Talmacsi, who was the only other person using the FTR-derived Speed Up chassis.
1st – Toni Elias
Team: Gresini Racing Moto2
Championship position: 1st
Pole positions: 3
Fastest laps: 2
Points finishes: 15 out of 17 starts
Toni Elias was a worthy winner of the inaugural Moto2 World Championship, overcoming injury just before the start of the season to win more races than any other rider - despite being the only race victor with the Moriwaki chassis.
In many ways success for Elias provided credibility to the new class.
As a known talent - Elias has one MotoGP win and five other premier-class podiums to his credit - the smiling Spaniard proved that, even with engine and tyre equality in Moto2, the outcome is far from the lottery that some had predicted.
Instead it was a textbook mix of speed and consistency that rewarded Elias with his first ever world championship.
Never outside the top ten for the first 15 rounds, the two non-scores that followed occurred when Elias could afford to throw caution to the wind because the title had been decided.
The next-best consecutive Moto2 points run was nine races in a row by Simone Corsi and Elias won the championship with a 70 point advantage - almost three races - over Julian Simon.
The next best Moriwaki rider, fourth in the championship Thomas Luthi, scored 115 points less than Elias, who will return to MotoGP in 2011.
Crash.net's top 10 Moto2 riders of 2010
1. Toni Elias
2. Andrea Iannone
3. Julian Simon
4. Alex de Angelis
5. Shoya Tomizawa
6. Thomas Luthi
7. Karel Abraham
8. Scott Redding
9. Simone Corsi
10. Gabor Talmacsi
What would your top 10 have been? Leave your list in the forum…