Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) bounced back from a difficult few races to win the German Moto2 GP race at the Sachsenring ahead of pole-sitter Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up).
Elias may have led the World Championship since his second Moto2 race win in May's French GP at Le Mans, but this was his first win since Le Mans.
The Spaniard attributed the turnaround to crucial set-up work done during the post-Catalan GP tests at Aragon, yesterday's qualifying session and morning warm-up.
Elias had to work extra hard this afternoon, recovering from a first-turn collision that had left him 11th at the end of the first lap.
Five riders, towards the back of the pack, didn't even make it through turn one, though there were no injuries in this pile-up.
By two-thirds distance Elias had fought his way into second place. From there he hunted down Iannone, who had led from the second lap and had looked likely to score his third win from the last five races of the Honda-powered series. Once Elias was ahead, Iannone had little answer for his rival who seemed to have more grip to play with.
The final place on today's podium went to Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans S.T.R, Suter) who fought a thrilling end-of-race duel with former 250 rival and fellow 250 GP winner Fonsi Nieto (Holiday Gym G22, Moriwaki).
Nieto passed Rolfo on the penultimate lap, but Rolfo took back third place on the final lap to beat the Spaniard by just two tenths of a second.
It was his first GP podium result since the 2004 Spanish 250 GP at Jerez. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing, Suter) was the last rider in the group battling for third, finishing six tenths behind Nieto.
The action throughout the rest of the pack was typically Moto2 - fast and frantic, with lots of jostling for position.
The next 12 riders were covered by just ten seconds, that particular contest won by Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up), who had spent much of the race in what looked like a safe second place until he started slipping down the order.
The Hungarian crossed the line with Damian Cudlin (Tenerife 40 Pons, Pons Kalex) right on his rear wheel. Cudlin is subbing for Axel Pons, injured at Assen. Top German finisher was Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing, Suter) in ninth.
Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, Suter), winner of the first Moto2 race in Qatar, finished out of the points in 18th place.
With eight races done and nine to go of the 2010 Moto2 series, Elias now leads the championship by 42 points from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2, Moriwaki) who slid out of today's race.
Iannone sits a further four points behind Luthi. Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter) dropped one place to fourth overall after he too slid out of today's race.
MOTO2 RIDER QUOTES
Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) says: "The most important part of this weekend was the last 15 minutes of qualifying when we made a big improvement to the setting. We took one more step in that direction after warm-up, even though we knew that was a risk, because we were sure it would be better again. And it was, I could feel the improvement from my first lap out of the pits. I got a bad start and many riders overtook me, so I had to take some risks on cold tyres."
"After two or three I felt more confident so I started to push and made many passes. Once I got into fourth place I could see the gap between me and Iannone, and every lap I was getting closer. Finally I caught him. I thought that passing him would be the most difficult part of the race, but in fact it was the easiest part. I already won two races - at Jerez and Le Mans - but then I was still in pain and suffering from my crash in preseason testing. Today I really enjoyed the race. Now we will try and continue like this till the end of the championship."
Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) says: "I got pole yesterday but unfortunately I was unable to win the race. My congratulations to Toni and his team. For some reason I didn't quite have the same feeling that I had on the bike yesterday, so I wasn't able to maintain my pace. And then I wasn't able to do anything about Toni. We will sit down and work out what went wrong today and we will try to learn and improve from that. Over the next few races we will try to continue with our consistency and keep building points."
Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans S.T.R, Suter) says: "It is very nice to be back - the feeling is absolutely fantastic. I am very happy, because I like this track very much; in fact it was here that I scored my first GP win in 2003! I have enjoyed riding here and since the first session we have worked to improve on our usual setting. So far this year we have often been fast but we have been unable to get a good result. I was very concentrated for this race. It was nice to fight up front again. I am really enjoying this new category."
Pole position : 1m24.982s (155.51Km/h) Andrea Iannone, Fimmco Speed Up
Fastest lap : Lap 3 - 1m25.629s (154.335Km/h) Andrea Iannone, Fimmco Speed Up
Circuit record lap : 1m25.629s (154.335Km/h) Andrea Iannone, Fimmco Speed Up, 2010
Circuit Best Lap : 1m24.982s (155.51Km/h) Andrea Iannone, Fimmco Speed Up, 2010
Moto2 Race Results - Round 8
1 Toni Elias 41m57.745s SPA HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
2 Andrea Iannone +3.297s ITA HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
3 Roberto Rolfo +6.574s ITA HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
4 Fonsi Nieto +6.781s SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
5 Karel Abraham +7.396s CZE HONDA Cardion AB Motoracing
6 Gabor Talmacsi +9.555s HUN HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
7 Damian Cudlin +9.697s AUS HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
8 Dominique Aegerter +11.373s SWI HONDA Technomag-CIP
9 Stefan Bradl +13.152s GER HONDA Viessman Kiefer Racing
10 Yonny Hernandez +13.726s COL HONDA Blusens-STX
11 Alex Baldolini +15.802s ITA HONDA Caretta Technology Race Dept
12 Jules Cluzel +17.666s FRA HONDA Forward Racing
13 Anthony West +25.927s AUS HONDA MZ Racing
14 Vladimir Ivanov +26.476s RUS HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
15 Xavier Simeon +26.626s BEL HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
16 Valentin Debise +27.465s FRA HONDA WTR San Marino Team
17 Ratthapark Wilairot +29.007s THA HONDA Thai - Honda PTT Singha SAG Team
18 Shoya Tomizawa +42.961s JPN HONDA Technomag-CIP
19 Yusuke Teshima +43.141s JPN HONDA JiR Moto2
20 Niccolo Canepa +43.277s ITA HONDA RSM Team Scot
21 Kenny Noyes +43.580s USA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
22 Claudio Corti +44.171s ITA HONDA Forward Racing
23 Sascha Hommel +52.382s GER HONDA MGM Racing Performance MC
24 Vladimir Leonov +1m52.382s RUS HONDA Vector Kiefer Racing
25 Hector Faubel +1m19.211s SPA HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
26 Yannick Guerra +1m23.078s SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
27 Arne Tode +1m28.151s GER HONDA Racing Team Germany
28 Mike De Meglio NC - 1 Lap FRA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
29 Raffaele De Rosa NC - 4 Laps ITA HONDA Tech 3 Racing
30 Robertino Pietri NC - 5 Laps VEN HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
31 Simone Corsi NC - 10 Laps ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
32 Mashel Al Naimi NC - 12 Laps QAT HONDA Blusens-STX
33 Scott Redding NC - 19 Laps GBR HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
34 Alex Debon NC - 20 Laps SPA HONDA Aeroport de Castello - Ajo
35 Thomas Luthi NC - 22 Laps SWI HONDA Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2
36 Sergio Gadea NC - 26 Laps SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
37 Julian Simon NC - 28 Laps SPA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
38 Yuki Takahashi DNF Lap 1 JAP HONDA Tech 3 Racing
39 Ricard Cardus DNF Lap 1 SPA HONDA Maquinza-SAG Team
Moto2 Championship Standings
1 Toni Elias 136 pts SPA HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
2 Thomas Luthi 94 pts SWI HONDA Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2
3 Andrea Iannone 90 pts ITA HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
4 Julian Simon 77 pts SPA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
5 Shoya Tomizawa 76 pts JPN HONDA Technomag-CIP
6 Simone Corsi 65 pts ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
7 Jules Cluzel 61 pts FRA HONDA Forward Racing
8 Yuki Takahashi 52 pts JAP HONDA Tech 3 Racing
9 Gabor Talmacsi 52 pts HUN HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
10 Sergio Gadea 47 pts SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
11 Fonsi Nieto 38 pts SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
12 Roberto Rolfo 37 pts ITA HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
13 Alex Debon 37 pts SPA HONDA Aeroport de Castello - Ajo
14 Karel Abraham 33 pts CZE HONDA Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Ratthapark Wilairot 25 pts THA HONDA Thai - Honda PTT Singha SAG Team
16 Scott Redding 23 pts GBR HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
17 Dominique Aegerter 23 pts SWI HONDA Technomag-CIP
18 Yonny Hernandez 21 pts COL HONDA Blusens-STX
19 Stefan Bradl 18 pts GER HONDA Viessman Kiefer Racing
20 Kenny Noyes 18 pts USA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
21 Mike De Meglio 17 pts FRA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
22 Alex Baldolini 14 pts ITA HONDA Caretta Technology Race Dept
23 Mattia Pasini 12 pts ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
24 Anthony West 11 pts AUS HONDA MZ Racing
25 Alex De Angelis 11 pts SMR HONDA RSM Team Scot
26 Xavier Simeon 9 pts BEL HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
27 Damian Cudlin 9 pts AUS HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
28 Lukas Pesek 4 pts CZE HONDA Matteoni C.P. Racing
29 Hector Faubel 4 pts SPA HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
30 Vladimir Ivanov 2 pts RUS HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
31 Arne Tode 2 pts GER HONDA Racing Team Germany
32 Yusuke Teshima 1 pts JPN HONDA JiR Moto2
33 Claudio Corti 1 pts ITA HONDA Forward Racing
34 Yannick Guerra 0 pts SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
35 Vladimir Leonov 0 pts RUS HONDA Vector Kiefer Racing
36 Valentin Debise 0 pts FRA HONDA WTR San Marino Team
37 Sascha Hommel 0 pts GER HONDA MGM Racing Performance MC
38 Robertino Pietri 0 pts VEN HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
39 Ricard Cardus 0 pts SPA HONDA Maquinza-SAG Team
40 Raffaele De Rosa 0 pts ITA HONDA Tech 3 Racing
41 Niccolo Canepa 0 pts ITA HONDA RSM Team Scot
42 Mashel Al Naimi 0 pts QAT HONDA Blusens-STX
43 Kev Coghlan 0 pts SCO HONDA Monlan Joey Darcey Team
44 Joan Olive 0 pts SPA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
45 Ivan Moreno 0 pts SPA HONDA Andalucia Cajasol
46 Carmelo Morales 0 pts SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
47 Bernat Martinez 0 pts SPA HONDA Maquinza-SAG Team
48 Axel Pons 0 pts SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
49 Anthony Delhalle 0 pts FRA HONDA Qatar Endurance Racing Team
50 Amadeo Llados 0 pts SPA HONDA Llados Racing Team