Moto2 Assen: Leaders Arm for Battle

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Moto2 Dutch TT

The Moto2 World Championship produced the tightest racing of its short existence at Silverstone. The class, which features control Honda engines in prototype frames, was designed for close racing and none was closer than Silverstone’s.

First to fourth was separated by only .520s with the margin of victory a scant .057s. And fifth through eighth was covered by only .438s.

Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing Suter) took his first win in a race that had eight lead changes at the line, the final one coming on the last lap.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2) made a mistake while defending his lead on lap 18 with Cluzel taking advantage and becoming the fourth different winner in five races.

Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar, Suter) was third, with Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Suter) a shadow fourth. Cluzel’s teammate Claudio Corti, one of five race leaders, crashed out of second on the penultimate lap.

Championship leader Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) had a season worst finish at Silverstone, finishing 10th after qualifying 18th.

Still, on the strength of his two wins, in Jerez and Le Mans, he maintains the championship lead with 80 points to 65 for Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, Suter). Elias believes dry track time is paramount at Assen, so he and the team can find the optimal settings for the sixth race of the year. Tomizawa, the winner of the first ever Moto2 race in Qatar, did well to finish sixth and in the thick of the four rider battle for fifth.

The Japanese rider lost valuable practice and qualifying time with a pair of crashes, which are especially damaging because class rules mandate the use of only one motorcycle. This will be only his second visit to Assen and he also knows he’ll have to maximize his track time, which means no crashes. Luthi’s second in Silverstone, his best finish of the year, kept him third in the championship with 58 points.

Moto2 Rider Quotes

Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2 Moriwaki) says: “The last two races have been very difficult for us, so we must keep working to find a solution to our problems when we get to Assen. I like the track, it’s great, but not as great as it was before they made the big change a couple of years ago.”

“I’ve won there in 125 and finished on the podium in 250s, so we need to work hard to get back on the podium again this weekend. There is no specific set-up problem we are having, it is just getting the package to work for me at some tracks. I know the team has the potential to get me back on top; I just hope the weather stays dry throughout the weekend, so we can get plenty of track time.”

Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP Suter) says: “I like Assen, but last year was my first time there and it is a difficult track to learn, so I still haven’t mastered it. I will have more learning to do when we get there, so the main thing to do will be to stay calm, do many laps and try not to crash. My crash during Saturday morning practice at Silverstone showed how a fall can complicate your weekend, especially when we are only allowed one bike.”

“My team had to replace the chassis and swingarm in time for qualifying, then we had a small brake problem at the start of qualifying, which caused me to fall again, though this time at slow speed. So, the plan for Assen is to stay cool and work hard toward the race.”

Tom Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Team) says: “The TT Assen is a very nice track that I like. I am looking forward to Assen. It is not easy, as we have had to pack everything very quick and get quickly to Assen as the race is in not even a week’s time. The Silverstone podium was the perfect motivation for the next race and I will take that experience with me.”

Moto2 Standings

1. Toni Elias 80
2. Shoya Tomizawa 65
3. Thomas Luthi 58
4. Simone Corsi 51
5. Julian Simon 51
6. Sergio Gadea 47
7. Jules Cluzel 46
8. Andrea Iannone 42
9. Alex Debon 37
10. Gabor Talmacsi 34