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Moto2: Takahashi wins after Catalunya drama
4 July 2010
Yuki Takahashi has given Tech 3 its first ever Moto2 victory after a dramatic seventh round at Catalunya, which began with a nine-rider pile-up at turn one and ended with a huge crash for Carmelo Morales.
The turn one accident, triggered by Alex Debon missing his braking point and spearing into the side of Mike di Meglio at the apex, resulted in yellow flags being waved for several laps - which proved to be pole sitter Andrea Iannone's downfall.
The Italian, seeking his third victory of the season, overtook Takahashi heading into the braking zone at the start of lap two, and was issued with a penalty on lap 7, by which time he held a 1.3sec lead.
But the penalty was a 'go back one position' verdict, which proved impossible to communicate to Iannone - his Fimmco Speedup team even trying to write it on the pit board with pen and paper!
Iannone didn't understand the message and kept riding - resulting in a ride-through penalty being issued on lap 14 of 23. The Italian understood that decision and rejoined the field outside of the points (eventually riding to 13th) while Takahashi was handed a three-second lead over Thomas Luthi and Julian Simon.
Part-time 2009 MotoGP rider Takahashi - who has qualified on the Moto2 front row three times this season, but was without a podium finish - then extended his advantage to hand Herve Poncharal's team a landmark victory by just over five seconds.
Takahashi is the fifth different winner from the seven races, while Tech 3 is the fourth different manufacturer to claim a race win after Suter, Moriwaki and FTR. The victory was the first for Tech 3 since 2000, in the 250cc class.
Joining Takahashi on the podium were Interwetten Moriwaki rider Luthi - riding just one week after collarbone surgery - who just held off the Aspar Suter of Simon.
Karel Abraham, title leader Toni Elias and Simone Corsi claimed fourth, fifth and sixth. With Shoya Tomizawa one of the innocent turn one victims, Elias now leads the championship by 17 points from Luthi.
The huge Morales accident occurred when the Pons stand-in clipped the back of seventh placed Kenny Noyes on the run to the line - at over 150 mph - his bouncing motorcycle coming close to going over the debris fencing.
Morales was conscious as he was taken to the ambulance and later 'deemed OK by the medical centre and will remain under observation'.
Adding to a dramatic event was a lap 5 highside for Niccolo Canepa, which resulted in the Italian's motorcycle bursting into flames.
Race results - Catalunya:
1. Takahashi (Tech 3) 23 laps
2. Luthi (Moriwaki) +5.037s
3. Simon (Suter) +5.200s
4. Abraham (FTR) +6.706s
5. Elias (Moriwaki) +7.369s
6. Corsi (Motobi) +7.414s
7. Noyes (Promoharris) +17.100s
8. Nieto (Moriwaki) +20.555s
9. West (MZ) +21.001s
10. de Angelis (Force GP2) +21.369s
Redding (Suter) DNF
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