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Bradl storms to victory in Moto2 season opener

Bradl storms to victory in Moto2 season opener

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) roared to victory in the Commericialbank Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday, opening his season in style by taking the second Moto2 win of his career from pole position.

The German rider led from the start of the race and eventually won by a large margin of 4.330s after starting from pole for the first time in his career. This race last season was won by the late Shoya Tomizawa, who was honoured on Saturday with the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the circuit, and the 2011 season opener was also a highly entertaining affair with an intense battle for the positions between second and fifth.

The conditions were almost perfect, with hardly any headwind and a warm track. In a field of 16 Grand Prix winners, racing is always tough in the intermediate class but it was Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) who grabbed the second spot on the rostrum and gained his 14th podium of his career. After starting down in 16th place, the Italian clawed his way up to ninth place at the end of lap one and was up to second place by lap nine.

Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) finished third after equalling his best ever qualifying starting from third position. Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) was overtaken by Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) on the last lap and dropped to fifth place with the San Marinese rider taking fourth.

After a poor start from the front row, reigning 125 World Champion Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) found life more difficult on his Moto2 race debut and crashed out in the first part of the 20-lap race.

Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) was sixth, 14.217s behind the race winner. He beat Frenchman Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) on the line in a close finish. Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) was eighth, just behind the duo. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) was the highest placing debutant recording a ninth placed finish, ahead of Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar).

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing), who started from the fourth row, was unable to make an impression in the opening round of the season. After flying off the track at the start, he had to rejoin at the back of the field with a badly damaged left foot peg, eventually finishing 31st.


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