By Lisa Lewis
Andrea Iannone took victory on his Speed Master Speed Up bike for round nine of the Moto2 Championship at Mugello on Sunday, his second Moto2 win at the Italian circuit.
The Italian race winner, running a special red 'Joe the Fireman' livery for the weekend, broke away from the leading pack, along with Pol Espargaro and Tom Luthi with eight laps to go, with Bradley Smith later catching back up and tagging on the back of the leading trio.
Iannone, who sealed victory by just 0.090, said in the press conference that he expected the race to be tough as his rivals had a good pace, but he managed his tyres to be able to push at the end and thanked Luthi and Espargaro for a great race.
Pons 40 HP Tuenti Kalex rider Espargaro, who completed the race “tired and with pain in the foot” from his Saturday collision with Zarco, had gapped the rest of the field.
But Iannone decided to take charge and give chase to Espargaro, catching him and racing all the way to the line, leaving them joint second in the championship standings.
Espargaro when interviewed post race said “second position is not so bad – it is more than we expect yesterday”.
Swiss rider Luthi finished the race in third for the Interwetten-Paddock (Suter) team.
The one time leader was caught and challenged in the latter stages by Smith on the Tech 3, with an improved aerodynamic package,who had to settle for fourth after charging hard and forcing his way back into the action.
Pole sitter Marc Marquez lost touch with the leaders after losing the front in the closing stages but stayed on his CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Suter to finish fifth. He sees his championship lead reduced to 34 points. The Spaniard was almost caught by a late charge from British rider Scott Redding who finished sixth aboard the Marc VDS Kalex machine.
Early race leader Takaaki Nakagami was back on the form he showed at the start of the season for the Italtrans Racing Team's home grand prix, finishing an eventual eighth.
Dominique Aegerter was consistent all race and put in a strong performance to finish ninth for the Technomag-CIP Suter team, while Johann Zarco completed the top ten for the JIR moto2 (Motobi) team, an impressive effort as he started down in 18th after his grid penalty of fifteen places from the Espargaro collision.