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Moto2 2011: The story so far

Moto2 2011: The story so far reviews the season so far at the summer break, with nine of the 17 rounds completed.

At just over halfway through the 2011 season and with the short summer interval almost finished, takes a look back over the nine rounds of the campaign which have provided plenty of action for review. Click on each round to watch race highlights.

German rider Stefan Bradl leads the Championship by 47 points as Round 10 at Brno approaches, and his solid advantage is thanks to a phenomenal 2011 to date which started with a victory from pole in Qatar. Pre-season title favourites Andrea Iannone and Thomas Lüthi followed him onto the podium, and it was the Italian who took victory in the following round at Jerez where he triumphed ahead of Lüthi and Simone Corsi – who took a masterful third from 18th on the starting grid – in wet conditions as Bradl took fifth.

Next up was Estoril and the site of Bradl’s sole Moto2 victory in 2010. He repeated the result in style from pole position, with Julián Simón and Yuki Takahashi completing the top three as Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter scored his best Moto2 result ever with an admirable fourth place, and rookie Pol Espargaró took a top-six result in just his third race in the category.

After a rough introduction to the Moto2 class which involved crashes in the opening three rounds of the season, reigning 125 World Champion Marc Márquez backed up his impressive pre-season testing form with a superb victory at Le Mans where he led Takahashi and Bradl onto the podium. Bradl responded excellently at Catalunya with victory from pole ahead of Márquez in the youngster’s home race, with another Catalan rider in the shape of Aleix Espargaró taking his first ever World Championship podium result in third.

The fact that it was wet at Silverstone for Round 6 did little to dent Bradl’s determination or form, and he took his fourth win of the season. Completing a stunning comeback from 28th on the starting grid after a troublesome QP was home rider and Moto2 rookie Bradley Smith who placed second, with Michele Pirro third. A difficult opening few rounds were banished from the memory by Scott Redding, who rode to fifth just behind Frenchman Jules Cluzel, but Márquez was undone by the weather conditions and crashed.

The Spaniard’s answer to his Silverstone disappointment was a victory at Assen where Kenan Sofuoglu took his first GP podium with Smith continuing his fine run with third and Australian Anthony West on the MZ riding to a solid fourth place. Bradl’s first and so far only DNF of the season, due to a crash, inflicted little damage on his Championship lead which still stood at 57 points afterwards.

Back-to-back victories were forthcoming for Márquez at Mugello as he and Bradl completed the one-two across the finish line, Smith making it three podiums in a row with third place and Alex de Angelis coming into form with fourth.

Márquez took the 14th GP victory of his career at the age of just 18 at Sachsenring as he denied Bradl a home win, the German finishing second but maintaining an excellent run of results as De Angelis took his first top-three result of the season, with rookie Randy Krummenacher finishing fourth.

With Bradl holding a sizeable advantage over Márquez at the top of the Championship it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard can catch his rival in the remaining eight rounds. He will continue his quest at the Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceské republiky at Brno next weekend.

Moto2, 2011

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