Bradl Wins as Smith Storms to First Podium

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Stefan Bradl's domination of the 2011 season continued in a soaking wet British Grand Prix but the star of the show was undoubtedly Bradley Smith, who charged through from 28th on the grid to finish second.

The Briton had a nightmare qualifying session with an electrical problem restricting him to two flying laps but he made up for lost time at the start, and was up to 13th by the end of the first lap. At the front, Bradl got the strongest start from the outside of the front row to lead Marc Marquez into turn one. The polesitter fell back quickly though, allowing Scott Redding into second.

The early stages seemed to indicate a two horse race between Redding and Bradl, with the Marc VDS youngster snatching the lead at Stowe on lap one. As the race settled down, a surprise challenger emerged in the form of Mattia Pasini who had moved up from 22nd on the grid to third.

With the Italian closing quickly, Bradl moved back into the lead on lap four in an attempt to fend off Pasini but the Ioda Racing Project rider continued to close and after disposing with Redding on lap five, took a shock lead after diving past Bradl at the loop on lap six.

By this point, Smith was up to fifth and was preparing for an all-British battle for fourth after Kenan Sofuoglu had also passed Redding. The stakes would become even higher on lap seven though as Pasini crashed out of Vale, losing the chance to claim his first Moto2 win. As a result, Bradl inherited a four second lead over Sofuoglu, with Redding and Smith fighting for third.

Smith claimed the prize of top Brit on lap eight, and three laps later, was up into second place after Sofuoglu slid off the track at Club, dropping out of the top ten.

With a comfortable gap to the rest of the field, the top two were able to cruise home but Smith wasn't the only rider to step onto a Moto2 podium for the first time. Michele Pirro came on strong in the second half on the race and had too much for Scott Redding, overtaking him just after half distance.

Jules Cluzel came through to take fourth while Redding faded to fifth, but still picked up his best result of the year. Esteve Rabat stayed out of trouble to take sixth while Yuki Takahashi salvaged seventh from a difficult weekend.

Sofuoglu recovered to eighth after a late move on Yonny Hernandez who finished an amazing ninth after crashing on the sighting lap shortly before the race. Simone Corsi lost further ground on the championship leader after trailing home in tenth, as did Thomas Luthi and Andrea Iannone who battled over the final point. The Swiss rider eventually got the better of the Italian but both will leave Silverstone firmly disappointed.

The weather conditions certainly seemed to favour Kev Coghlan, who got into the points for the second time this year in 13th.

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