Iannone was the one who
initially led in number two as Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino
Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)
joined him in the battle behind the lead, after the number 93 suffered a bad
start off the line.
After getting past Viñales,
Rossi and Iannone fought it out at the head of the second group as the number
99 began to disappear into the distance, with Marquez and the number 25 in
close company. As Rossi got to the head of the chasers, Iannone hit back again
– and so began Round 2.
The podium decider was left to
a brutal, classic battle between Iannone and Rossi - with the rider from
Tavullia seeming to have got the better of his younger compatriot, until
Iannone hit back with an aggressive move that also gave him a gap he was able
to hold onto over the line. Viñales completed his final weekend with Suzuki in
Dovizioso eventually dropped
slightly back from the front group into the clutches of Aleix Espargaro (Team
Suzuki Ecstar) and brother Pol (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to fight for P6 after
grip issues - with the younger brother Pol finally taking the honours over the
line in a photo-finish against Dovizioso, and Aleix seeing the flag in eighth.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
unfortunately suffered a crash to bid adieu to his fantastic latter half of
2016 – but he takes the title of Top Independent rider although bettered by Pol
Espargaro on the day. Crutchlow’s compatriot Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech
3) had another impressive ride as he gets back to fitness following a crash
ahead of the British GP and two knee surgeries, taking P9 in his final race
with Tech 3 before he moves to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
Alvaro Bautista had a stunning
ride in his final race with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in their special “Red”
livery, completing the top ten to round out a year of impressive progress.