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17/07/2012 AFTER MUGELLO


by Nico Cereghini


Andrea Iannone and Jorge Lorenzo, what a spectacle! Their wins in Moto2 and MotoGp really should be framed as masterpieces. The Italian won a tactical, hard fought race while the Spaniard dominated his race with all the authority of a world champion. Then we have Romano Fenati who came back with true class and in Moto3 just missed beating Viñales by a mere 0.020 seconds. It was a shame that there were fewer fans in the stands and around the track than usual to enjoy watching the race unfold. Fans have been protesting long and loud about over-priced tickets and yet again, despite the less favourable date, there were no price reductions. Surely it shouldn't be that hard to follow the example set by Portugal where reasonable prices make sure that the track is full of spectators.


To get back to racing, in MotoGp Dani Pedrosa tried to win as he made a lightning start from pole and for half the race Dovizioso, Bradl and Hayden tried to take the lead as well. All in a line, armed to the teeth, following Jorge. But on Sunday at Mugello, the number 99 Yamaha simply flew. It just seemed to swoop around the high-speed turns as if on rails! The Honda HRC lost touch with the leader and so did Hayden at the back of the leading group while Bradl fought hard for third place on the podium. In a thrilling finale with Hayden then Rossi and Crutchlow making up ground, Dovizioso came over the line third (fourth podium in 2012) ahead of Stefan and Valentino. Hayden only managed seventh after he ran wide when Bradl passed him. In MotoGP, there was no lack of surprises. Stoner appeared confused and only finished eighth following repeated mistakes. Stefan Bradl's performance was solid and fast and a podium finish is virtually a certainty in this most difficult category. Ducati made their best showing to date in the dry. The result was much as expected on their test track. Barbera started from the front row with the third best time and Hayden started from the second, while Rossi's qualifying times were disappointing. Then we had the race! Valentino gave his all after the usual first few difficult laps with his rear "supergrip" that pushes the front of his Desmosedici wide. Number 46 finished the race right up with the leaders only one second off the podium. The feeling of regret at not having started further up the grid hurts the rider too.


Before the MotoGP race, Andrea Iannone set hearts racing. What a race the Moto2 was! Pol Espargaro really showed himself to be the hardest of rivals. The Spaniard started from pole and had a solid race but was beaten to the line by 0.07 seconds by the Italian. During the last lap, sitting right on the tail of Andrea, Pol tried one last lunge but to no avail. Marquez who finished in only fifth position found problems with ups and downs of Mugello and crossed the line after Luthi and Smith. The absolute star of the race for perseverance was Claudio Corti. Although bumped off the track in the first lap, he clawed his way back to ninth place lapping at the pace speed as the leaders.


The Moto3 race saw two Italian riders in the leading pack right from the start. Niccolò Antonelli and Romano Fenati were among the "magnificent ten" who fought like lions in this unforgettable battle. Romano challenged Viñales right to the end even when the Spaniard upped his rhythm to break away from the group and, if he lost the battle (in a flying finish), it was because he does not yet have the expertise and still lacks aggressiveness. Niccolò on the other hand missed out on the podium because of set-up problems with the frame bike. They both however showed great class and fighting spirit.