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Marquez Takes First Moto2 Win at Le Mans

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Marc Marquez became the youngest ever winner in the MotoGP intermediate class after winning the Moto2 Grand Prix at Le Mans.

The 18-year-old had endured a tough start to his first year in the series after winning last year's 125cc Championship, having crashed out of the first three races. But the Spaniard got his season up and running with a devastating display of overtaking, before leaving his rivals for dead in the final four laps.

Pole sitter Stefan Bradl was the long time leader after making a perfect start, with Thomas Luthi following close behind and Yuki Takahashi in third.

Julian Simon was sitting pretty in fourth ahead of Aleix Espargaro with Bradley Smith making a stunning start from 17th on the grid. The Briton leaped straight up into ninth, one place ahead of Marquez who lost out in the mad dash to the Dunlop chicane.

They were both promoted a place by the end of the opening lap though when championship contender Andrea Iannone crashed out for the second race running. The Italian was running in eighth but lost the front end of the Suter at turn nine.

With six laps gone, the top five had made a break at the front but Marquez had fought his way back up to sixth, setting fastest laps as he chased after the leading group.

Aleix Espargaro was his first victim on lap 11 and the Pons HP 40 rider immediately began to slip back, leaving the quintet ahead of him to decide the victory between them.

The lead changed hands on lap 16 when Thomas Luthi dived past Bradl at the Dunlop chicane but the German rider was desperate for an immediate response. With Bradl eyeing up a move to take back the lead, Takahashi seized the opportunity to take second into Garage Vert.

Bradl was hung out to dry on the outside of the double-apex right-hander and Marquez sneaked through into third, leaving the championship leader to fend off Simon for fourth.

Marquez had his eyes set on victory and passed Takahashi and Luthi in consecutive laps to lead a Moto2 race for the first time, and immediately left them both for dead to take victory by just under two seconds.

Luthi slipped out of the podium positions when Takahashi and Bradl passed him in the space of a lap, and Julian Simon depriving him of even fourth spot by overtaking the Swiss rider within sight of the chequered flag.

Behind them, Espargaro was a lonely sixth while Simone Corsi continued his consistent campaign with seventh place, just holding off Dominique Aegerter. Tech 3's Bradley Smith converted his lightning start into ninth place after resisting the challenge of Alex de Angelis.

Meanwhile, Scott Redding's miserable start to the season continued. The British teenager was running close behind Bradley Smith in the first half of the race but gradually lost ground and finished one place outside the points in 16th. Kev Coghlan brought the FTR home in 27th.

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MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
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