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Moto2: Iannone takes first Suter win in Spanish rain
3 April 2011
Andrea Iannone rode from eleventh on the grid to claim his first win of the 2011 Moto2 season in an entertaining wet Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on Sunday.
Riding through steady rain, the triple 2010 winner (with an FTR chassis) gave the Speed Master-Suter squad its first victory by a massive 7.850sec, after carving confidently through the field and snatching the lead from Thomas Luthi at the midway point of the 26 laps.
Second to Stefan Bradl in round one at Qatar, Iannone now leads the early championship standings by nine points over Bradl and Luthi.
Interwetten Suter rider Luthi, still seeking his first Moto2 win, also took his second podium in as many starts, while Italian Simone Corsi completed the podium on his Ioda Racing FTR - from 18th on the grid.
Rookie Bradley Smith rocketed away from fifth on the grid to take third at turn one, then showed no sign of nerves as he overtook pole-sitter Bradl and 2010 Moto2 race winner Yuki Takahashi to lead on the opening lap!
Although he later dropped out of a podium place, Smith continued to put up a valiant fight against far more experienced riders and spent the closing stages locked in a duel with Bradl for fourth.
Smith stubbornly stuck to the Kalex rider and retook fourth when Bradl saved a near highside on the penultimate lap.
Smith's former 125cc rival Marc Marquez, who crashed on his Moto2 debut in Qatar and again in Saturday's qualifying session at Jerez, was rammed from behind by an out of-control Jules Cluzel, whom he had just overtaken for sixth.
Marquez initially looked injured, while Cluzel held his head in his hands, but the Spaniard was later seen back in the Catalunya Caixa Repsol team pits.
2010 title runner-up Julian Simon took sixth in his home race for Aspar Suter, while Alex de Angelis overcame a jump-start penalty for seventh, with Scotsman Kev Coghlan - another rookie - a Moto2 best of eighth.
Takahashi crashed out early in the race, leaving Michele Pirro as the only Gresini rider to reach the flag, in ninth.
MZ riders Max Neukirchner (riding an FTR chassis) and Antony West made use of the conditions to finish tenth and eleventh.Spanish Grand Prix - Jerez:
1. Iannone (Suter) 26 laps
2. Luthi (Suter) +7.850s
3. Corsi (FTR) +12.625s
4. Smith (Tech 3) +15.355s
5. Bradl (Kalex) +17.850s
6. Simon (Suter) +24.247s
7. de Angelis (MotoBI) +27.991s
8. Coghlan (FTR) +36.181s
9. Pirro (Moriwaki) +36.775s
10. Neukirchner (FTR) +41.407s
23. Redding (Suter) +1m 16.149s