The close action in the 2017 Moto2 Championship continued Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix. The 21-lap race at Mugello came down to a three-way battle to the finish line.Squeezing out the win—his first since GP victory since 2009 in the former 250 class—was Italtrans Racing Team’s Mattia Pasini. The Italian crossed the line 0.052 of a second ahead of Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and 0.136 of a second ahead of Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), creating one of the closest Moto2 finishes so far in six of 18 rounds.
Following is the official review (courtesy of MotoGP):It was tight into Turn 1 but there were no changes in the top three on the grid past the first corner, before Pasini struck for the lead soon after to cross the line in P1 first time round, ahead of polesitter Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Marquez.Drama then struck on the first lap just behind the front three, as Forward Racing Team’s Lorenzo Baldassarri highsided into Turn 15 – collecting title hopeful Takaaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) as the two tumbled out into the gravel, but both riders escaped the incident unharmed.Back at the front, Marquez took Morbidelli for second to settle into the rhythm behind Pasini, as Lüthi pushed to stay with and catch the front trio. Marquez then took the lead, Pasini hit back, and the front four found themselves the pacesetters as they pulled over two and a half seconds clear of chasing Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P5.Morbidelli then began to drop back, trailing the top three by over a second as the trio at the head of the pack held station. Then, the race burst back into life as Pasini, Marquez and Lüthi took the gloves off, with a three-way fight for the win lighting up Mugello.As the final lap dawned, Lüthi struck for the lead in spectacular style, but Pasini dug in on home turf. Having been pushed back to third, the Italian pulled his almost signature move on Marquez through Casanovi and Savelli, before striking against Lüthi straight after. Ahead as the end of the lap appeared, Pasini kept himself clear in the lead and pushed hard through the final corners to hold it over the line as the two men behind tried to slipstream. The Italian took his first win in the Moto2™ class and his first win since the 250 race at Mugello in 2009 by only 0.052 over Lüthi, with Marquez only another 0.084 back after the incredible showdown.Morbidelli came home in a solid fourth place as he kept it calm to take home good points for his Championship charge, ahead of an equally lonely ride for Miguel Oliveira to take yet another top finish in fifth.Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) just pipped Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) over the line to sixth, with Italian veteran Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) taking eighth on home soil. Top rookie was an impressive weekend from Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) to cross the line in ninth, after key rookie rival Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) crashed out late on.Reigning Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a stunning comeback from his arm injury to take tenth, riding for the first time since Argentina and putting on an impressive show.Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) were 11th to 13th respectively, with Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) finding some better luck to come home in P14. Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) completed the points.Now it’s Marquez turf at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as the Championship closes back up a little on the road back from Mugello.
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!