It was Speed Master’s local favourite Andrea Iannone who recorded an emphatic home win at today’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello after beating Pol Espargaró and Tom Lüthi to the line.
It was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez who got the holeshot, yet he was closely pursued by Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró and Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith. In the first few beds, Italtrans Racing Team Claudio Corti ran his bike wide onto the gravel, dropping back down the grid. Two laps in there were already numerous crashes from NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis and Kiefer Racing’s Max Neukirchner. With 17 laps left Espargaró almost clipped the rear wheel of Corti’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami going too hot into turn one, but narrowly avoided crashing.
Nakagami was a man on a mission, as he had pushed his way up into second a lap later as he pursued Interwetten-Paddock’s Lüthi, with Márquez and Iannone in tow. The Japanese rider wasted no time to push his way into first and led the pack heading into the next lap. Local rider Alessandro Andreozzi crashed on that lap on board his S/Master Speed Up bike, putting an end to his charge in front of his home fans. Shortly after he was followed by Cresto Guide MZ Racing’s Mike Di Meglio, who also dropped his bike in the gravel.
As the group headed into lap 13, Espargaró’s teammate Axel Pons and Tech 3’s Xavier Siméon crashed out of the race, while QMMF Racing Team’s Elena Rosell retired with a mechanical issue. Meanwhile Lüthi had fought his way back to the front, while Márquez had slipped into third ahead of Iannone, who was soon also taken by Espargaró. Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Massimo Roccoli suffered a crash further down the pack, while Pons rider Rabbat also crashed out.
Espargaró provided the team with some hope however as he challenged Márquez with a move, and then went past Nakagami into second. With nine laps to go Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi ran off track, but was able to re-join. Espargaró and Lüthi touched fairings fighting for the lead with eight laps left, and did well not to crash as the Spaniard took the lead. Márquez also almost suffered a near crush as he pushed hard, with Mapfre Aspar Team’s Toni Elías crashing out heavily behind, prompting a brief oil flag.
With six laps left Espargaró started to pull out a lead, prompting Iannone to take Lüthi for second and hunt down the Spaniard. Heading into the final two laps Iannone was on the Spaniard’s rear wheel, while Lüthi made a mistake heading into turn one, but kept his place. The Italian ultimately passed Espargaró in turn one on the last lap, prompting a nail bighting finale. And it was Iannone who kept his nerve right up until the end to narrowly take the win, with Espargaró and Lüthi completing the final spots on the rostrum. Smith and Márquez completed the top five with the Spaniard still 34 points clear at the top of the championship ahead of Espargaró and Iannone, who are now equal on points. They were followed by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, Nakagami, Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter, Corti and JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco.