25 June 2011
Moto2: Marquez claims victory at Assen
Marc Marquez wins the Dutch Moto2 Grand Prix at Assen, Kenan Sofuoglu second, Stefan Bradl crashes out.
Reigning 125cc world champion Marc Marquez took his second Moto2 race win in a tense Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday, which saw Kenan Sofuoglu takes his first grand prix podium and Bradley Smith complete the rostrum.
The race was declared wet - meaning, unlike the previous 125cc grand prix, it wouldn't be stopped due to the weather - and began with a worst-case scenario of rain falling, but not by enough to cool the wet tyres chosen throughout the grid.
Marquez, who had crashed out of three of the first six races this year, dived inside pole sitter and championship leader Stefan Bradl into turn one - and was the first of several race leaders as Simone Corsi, Sofuoglu and Smith also took turns at the front.
The closing stages saw Marquez, Sofuoglu, Smith and Takahashi clear of the field, with Gresini rider Takahashi then rising quickly to second with five laps to go.
With the rain drops having returned after a near dry mid-race spell, the experienced Japanese looked to have picked his moment to perfection... until he high-sided out on lap 20 of 24.
That left Marquez with a healthy lead he held to the flag and, with riders falling throughout the field due to the worsening rain, Sofuoglu and Smith chose against a late attack.
Multiple World Supersport champion Sofuoglu, who raced for the Dutch-based Ten Kate team in WSS and WSBK, crossed the line 2.397sec from victory, while rookie Smith claimed his and Tech 3's second podium in a row several seconds behind the Turkish rider.
Wet weather expert Anthony West used the slippery conditions to rise from 20th on the grid to fourth for MZ, with Alex de Angelis fifth for MotoBI.
Bradl, who began Saturday's race with a 62 point lead over Corsi - the biggest lead after six rounds in motorcycle grand prix history - suffered his first DNF of the season when he spun out of seventh, at the final chicane, with just a few laps to go.
However, the young German's lead has only been reduced to 57 points - Corsi could only manage 14th - and it is Marquez who now holds second in the championship.
Female racer Elena Rosell, called up by Aspar to replace the injured Julian Simon, missed the race after being forced to sit out qualifying due to a damaged bike.
Race results - Assen:
1. Marquez (Suter) 24 laps
2. Sofuoglu (Suter) +2.397s
3. Smith (Tech 3) +6.418s
4. West (MZ) +22.803s
5. de Angelis (MotoBI) +25.882s
6. Pasini (FTR) +26.851s
7. Rabat (FTR) +28.125s
8. Luthi (Suter) +28.712s
9. Krummenacher (Kalex) +29.744s
10. Neukirchner (MZ) +39.767s
21. Coghlan (FTR) +1m 38.161s
24. Redding (Suter) +1 lap
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