2011 Le Mans Moto2 Preview

2011 France Moto2

Moto2, which continues to offer some of the closest and most exciting racing in MotoGP, heads to Le Mans in France this weekend.

Currently leading the points chase is the German Stefan Bradl, who has started from pole position at each of the three events thus far in 2011, netting two wins: the opening round at Qatar, and the last event at Estoril.

The Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider has 61 points over second place runner, Italian Andrea Iannone, with 48 points.

Iannone relinquished the Moto2 points lead to Bradl in Portugal when he fell while fighting for the win with just three laps remaining. Iannone will certainly be looking to not give up any more precious points in what is looking like a tough season ahead. The Suter rider finished fourth in last year’s Le Mans race.

Sitting in third, separated by a single point to the two riders tied for fourth, is Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) of Italy with 37 points. He leads Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, who succumbed to a fall at the last round in Portugal while running with the lead group, and Julian Simon, who are tied with 36 points apiece.

Luthi comes to Le Mans, a track where he scored a GP victory in the 125cc class in 2006. Julian Simon arrives in France coming off his first podium of 2011 in Portugal. The Spanish rider finished second in the Moto2 race in Le Mans last year.

Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi brings the momentum of his first podium finish of the season (achieved at the last race in Portugal) into France. His victory at Le Mans in 2006 while in the 250cc class will certainly serve to bolster his confidence. Trailing Yuki by one point is Alex de Angelis, with 26 points.

Although personally I miss the sound and smell of the 2-stroke machines of the 250cc class, Moto2 is quickly earning kudos as both a spectator friendly class and a solid building block for riders to progress to the premiere class by virtue of the 600cc/4-stroke configuration, which is more closely associated to the characteristics of a MotoGP machine.

After three rounds here’s how the 2011 Moto2 riders stand in the championship title hunt.

2011 Moto2 Championship Point Standings

1.Stefan BRADLKalexGER61
2.Andrea IANNONESuterITA48
4.Thomas LUTHISuterSWI36
5.Julian SIMONSuterSPA36
6.Yuki TAKAHASHIMoriwakiJPN27
7.Alex DE ANGELISMotobiRSM26
8.Bradley SMITHTech 3GBR20
9.Dominique AEGERTERSuterSWI16
10.Michele PIRROMoriwakiITA15
13.Jules CLUZELSuterFRA9
17.Mike DI MEGLIOTech 3FRA7
20.Claudio CORTISuterITA5
21.Anthony WESTMZ-RE HondaAUS5
22.Aleix ESPARGAROPons KalexSPA5
25.Ricard CARDUSMoriwakiSPA2
26.Axel PONSPons KalexSPA1