Andrea Iannone has taken his first ever 125GP victory in a crash strewn race at a wet Shanghai.
The Italian has never even had a podium finish before, but that didn’t stop the 18-year-old taking control of the wet race on his IC Team Aprilia.
The forecasted rain appeared well before the race start making it difficult for the riders to see through the spray in the early stages and it certainly took its toll on the 34-strong field at the beginning, with only 19 taking the chequered flag.
Among those not finishing the race were the British trio of pole rider Bradley Smith, Danny Webb and Scott Redding as all three crashed out of the race. This was the third time out of the four races so far this season Smith has failed to score any points, whcih now leaves him in 14th in the championship with Webb the top Brit in 11th just ahead of Redding.
Missing from the starting field was Pablo Nieto who crashed in morning warm-up, while Stefano Bianco did not make it back from the warm-up lap.
Bradley Smith went into the lead from the start but had Andrea Iannone on his exhaust pipe and was passed by the third corner.
By the end of lap one the other Brits Danny Webb and Scott Redding were 16th and 22nd respectively.
Sergio Gadea was the first crasher of the day, although he did manage to re-board his Aprilia and Nicolas Terol was next on the following lap.
On lap two current 125GP champion Gabor Talmacsi had passed both Smith and Iannone to take the lead on his Aprilia.
By the end of lap three both Danny Webb and Scott Redding were making good progress, with Webb up to 14th and Redding in 20th.
On lap five Iannone retook the lead from Hungary’s Talmacsi and soon created a small gap as the front three were fastest on track.
Sergio Gadea’s day was not going well, having got back on track after his lap one crash, his Aprilia gave up. And Simone Corsi was the next victim of the bad weather having to retire to the pits after a lap five crash.
Ales Masbou was next to take a trip to the tarmac on his Loncin on lap seven while Bradley Smith’s bad luck of the season continued with him crashing out from third for his second successive race on his Polaris World Aprilia.
Highest British rider in the championship Danny Webb, had made it up to ninth, while Scott Redding was in the points by lap eight in 15th.
R Lacalendola was the next to exit the race on lap eight as he crashed, with Robin Lasser joining him as a non finisher on the following lap.
Michael Ranseder was one of the lucky ones, he crashed at low speed on lap 10 from sixth place, but was able to run to his Aprilia and get going again.
Front pair Gabor Talmacsi and Andrea Iannone were swapping the lead on almost every corner for the next few laps, but British attentions turned to Danny Webb as he crashed out of eighth place on lap 10.
Grizzly Gas’s Murresan was next out of the race, coming off his Aprilia on lap 11 while Sandro Cortese was another off but got regoing after a bump start, although Lorenzo Zanetti was not so fortunate on his KTM.
With all the crashes, and Raffaele de Rosa was the next, Scott Redding had managed to take advantage as was up to 12th by lap 13. But a trip wide at a corner meant he had all the work to do again as he went down to 16th.
On lap 13 a charging Mike di Meglio managed to use the extra power in his Derbi to take second place from Gabor Talmacsi.
And there were to be no British finishers by the end of the race as Scott Redding crashed out from 13th place on lap 16. Randy Krummanacher retired from the race, pulling up on the side of the Shanghai circuit a lap later.
With Andrea Iannone having created a 4.5sec gap by the final lap and a certain first 125GP victory for him, the battle was on for second between Kike di Meglio and Gabor Talmacsi. But it was Derbi rider Talmacsi who held on for second.
Simone Corsi still leads in the championship but he failed to take advantage of extending his lead as he crashed out of the race.
China MotoGP 125 race results:
A. IANNONE ITA I.C. Team 46'02.275
M. DI MEGLIO FRA Ajo Motorsport
G. TALMACSI HUN Bancaja Aspar Team
P. ESPARGARO SPA Belson Derbi
S. BRADL GER Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing
J. OLIVE SPA Belson Derbi
M. RANSEDER AUT I.C. Team
N. TEROL SPA Jack & Jones WRB
R. DE ROSA ITA Onde 2000 KTM
E. VAZQUEZ SPA Blusens Aprilia Junior
E. RABAT SPA Repsol KTM 125cc
M. MARQUEZ SPA Repsol KTM 125cc
T. KOYAMA JPN ISPA KTM Aran
S. BONSEY USA Degraaf Grand Prix
P. TUTUSAUS SPA Bancaja Aspar Team
S. CORTESE GER Emmi - Caffe Latte
D. AEGERTER SWI Ajo Motorsport
L. ROSSI FRA FFM Honda GP 125
H. VAN DEN BERG NED Degraaf Grand Prix