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Moto2: Bradl holds firm for Estoril victory
1 May 2011
Stefan Bradl has won an incident-packed Portuguese Moto2 Grand Prix at Estoril, having held firm as two riders took the lead from him - then crashed.
Those riders were Thomas Luthi and Andrea Iannone.
Luthi passed pole sitter Bradl on lap 4 of 26, only to lose the front at the long final turn, while points leader Iannone - who had charged from 14th on the grid to take the lead with five laps to go - fell on the following lap while trying to build a lead over Bradl.
Iannone's error didn't hand Bradl the race however, since Julian Simon was just a few tenths behind the German rider.
Simon, second in the last year's Moto2 championship despite failing to win a race, had an excellent chance of his first 600cc victory.
But Bradl's Kalex was quick on the straights and a defensive final lap kept the Aspar Suter rider just 0.147sec behind at the chequered flag.
Bradl took his first ever grand prix win in last October's Estoril race and his second victory from three 2011 starts has put him back in the world championship lead, now by 13 points over Iannone.
Joining Bradl and Simon on the podium was Yuki Takahashi, who claimed an emotional third place just one week after the death of his brother and fellow racer Koki in a road accident. Takahashi held a picture of his brother on the podium.
Bradl and Simon opted not to spray champagne as mark of respect to Takahashi.
Dominique Aegerter claimed a career-best fourth place for Technomag-CIP, while team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu was another high-profile faller.
The Turk crashed from fifth place at the chicane on lap 18, at a track where the double World Supersport champion led on his Moto2 debut last year.
Iannone brought his damaged Speed Master Suter home in 13th place, while reigning 125cc world champion Marc Marquez was another rider nursing a damaged bike.
The young Spaniard - who had crashed at round one, then been taken out at round two - slammed into the side of seventh-placed Scott Redding after a mistake under braking on lap eight.
Both riders rejoined after crashing, but the time lost and damage done meant Marquez was only 21st and Redding 25th. Fellow Briton Bradley Smith was forced to pit for a tyre change.
The revised race day schedule will see the MotoGP race next, followed by 125cc.
Race results - Estoril:
1. Bradl (Kalex) 26 laps
2. Simon (Suter) +0.147s
3. Takahashi (Moriwaki) +6.188s
4. Aegerter (Suter) +16.822s
5. Corsi (FTR) +17.076s
6. P. Espargaro (FTR) +25.956s
7. Krummenacher ((Kalex) +26.102s
8. Baldolini (Suter) +26.333s
9. di Meglio (Tech 3) +26.636s
10. Rabat (FTR) +29.077s
21. Redding (Suter) +1m 26.190s
29. Smith (Tech 3) +2 laps
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