Moto2 Qatar: Race Results & Quotes

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Moto2 Race Results

Motorcycle racing expectations were high ahead of the first ever Moto2 race in Qatar and the new 600cc (powered by spec Honda engines) four-stroke class certainly exciting. After a race that saw pitched battles fought out from the front to the back, 19-year-old Japanese rider, Shoya Tomizawa, wrote his name in the record books by taking the first ever Moto2 win.

Toni Elias made a great start from pole position to lead the 41-strong field into turn one. By turn two he was the only rider who qualified on the front row left in the race, as Alex De Angelis crashed out and took Stefan Bradl with him in turn one and Julian Simon retired his RSV machine after cooking the clutch at the start.

Elias was ousted from the lead by a hard charging Jules Cluzel on lap two, which prompted a fairing bashing battle at the front as Elias, Cluzel, Alex Debon and Tomizawa all fought it out to take the honours in the first race of this new World Championship class.

Tomizawa eventually fought his way to the front on lap six and was never headed for the remainder of the race, as the other Moto2 combatants held each other up fighting for the privilege of leading the chase for the Japanese rider.

Elias eventually succumbed to the pain of his injuries, sustained in a testing crash just two weeks ago, settling for fourth place and leaving Debon and Cluzel to sort out the two remaining podium positions between them. At the line it was Debon who took second, with Cluzel a very close third.

Roberto Rolfo brought his Italtrans Suter MMX machine home in fifth place, closely followed by Mattia Pasini, Thomas Luthi, Simone Corsi and Gabor Talmacsi, who’d battled together throughout the 20-lap race. Sergio Gadea rounded out the top ten aboard his Pons Kalex machine.

Moto2 Rider Quotes from Qatar

Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, 1st) says: “I can’t believe this, but I’m very, very happy because I can win and I can come here. I like the four-stroke feeling better than the two-stroke, but the four-stroke is very, very heavy and engine character is very, very strong.
This is very, very nice. My team works very hard and my sponsors help a lot. This is so incredible I can stay here. This is so, so nice.”

Alex Debon (Aeroport de Castello-Ajo, 2nd) says: “Today’s race was very, very hard indeed, such a hard battle out there. I wasn’t sure, no one was sure how the bike would feel at the end of the race when it was low on fuel and the tires were gone as well. We just had to wait and see what was going to happen. A few of the maneuvers were quite hard. A few risks going on there, but in the end after a really difficult winter, when the team struggled hard to get here I want to thank my friends for helping him get here and for bringing Alex Debon back into the world championship. It’s just important to be on the podium in the first race.”

Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing, 3rd) says: “Obviously I’m very happy! It’s perfect to start the championship with a podium, last year I started in the same way, but afterwards I did some mistakes during the season. I think this experience helped me mature a lot. I know that the championship is long and we are 40 riders, so it’s really important to make points every race and as few mistakes as possible. During the race I pushed myself to the limit, I tried to do my best to follow Tomizawa, the winner of the race, but after crashing nearly three times I realised that it would be better to finish in third position.”

Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC Vice President) says: “This evening we witnessed the first ever Moto2 race, an important event which marks the beginning of a new era of World Championship Grand Prix Racing. Last year Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) came to an agreement with the FIM and Dorna to be the sole supplier of engines for the newly-created class, and we are proud to play our part in this exciting series. I’d like to congratulate Shoya Tomizawa and the Technomag-CIP team on today’s historic win, and we can all look forward to many more closely-fought Moto2 races.”

Shoya Tomizawa biography

Japanese teenager Shoya Tomizawa made history at Losail, Qatar, on April 11, becoming the first race winner in motorcycling’s all-new Moto2 World Championship.

Tomizawa is just 19-years-old and is contesting only his second World Championship season. He became a full-time Grand Prix rider last year, when he rode a Honda RS250RW in the final 250 World Championship.

Tomizawa blazed a trail through the Japanese racing scene, his superb riding ability gaining him a 2009 ride with the CIP outfit, run by Frenchman Gilles Bigot, the man who guided Repsol Honda rider Alex Crivillé to the 1999 500 World Championship. Tomizawa’s career has taken the traditional Japanese route of pocketbike, minibike, 125 All-Japan series, 250 All-Japan series, then 250 World Championship, but he has made an instantly successful switch to the four-stroke Moto2 series, powered by Honda.

Almost all today’s professional bike racers started riding bikes at a young age, but Tomizawa started younger than most, enjoying his first tentative rides aboard a pocketbike at the age of three. Ably supported by his enthusiastic father, Tomizawa started racing a few years later and won his first successes when he was six years old. After four consecutive wins in the North Chiba and Haruna pocketbike series he was ready for medium-sized minibike racing. He was immediately successful, winning the 2001 Iwai minibike title aboard a Honda NSR50. He has stayed faithful to Honda machinery ever since.

Over the next few years Tomizawa won several titles across Japan, all the while learning his trade and readying himself for the move to a full-sized motorcycle. He made the step up to a Honda RS125 at the age of 14. Once again he was immediately competitive, taking runner-up finishes in the 2005 Sugo, Tsukuba and Motegi 125 Championships. The following year was even more impressive, Tomizawa taking second place in the 125 All-Japan Championship to claim the coveted Rookie of the Year title. He also made his GP debut as a wild card rider at Motegi, but scored no points. In 2007 he should have won the 125 title. He won four of the six rounds, taking wins at Motegi, Sugo, Okayama and Suzuka, but crashed out at Autopolis and Tsukuba, thus ending the season third overall.

During 2007 Tomizawa also made his debut in the 250 class, riding a Honda RS250R, acclimatising himself for a full-time move into the category. In 2008 he had another thrilling season, taking a close second place in the 250 All-Japan Championship, winning the final round at Okayama at the age of just 17. He also scored his first World Championship points during 2008, finishing the 250 Japanese GP in 14th position.

That result gained the attention of Team CIP, which offered him a full-time GP ride in last year’s 250 World Championship, riding an HRC-kitted RS250R with Burning Blood chassis. Tomizawa showed impressive speed on many occasions in his debut GP season. He scored points on nine occasions, including two tenth-place finishes (at Motegi and Valencia), to end the year 17th overall.

Away from racing Tomizawa is a keen tennis player. Since moving his summer base to Europe he has also spent time learning to speak French and improving his English.

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 48 Shoya
TOMIZAWA
JPN Technomag-CIP Suter 156.7 41’11.768
2 20 6 Alex DEBON SPA Aeroport
de Castello – Ajo
FTR 156.4 +4.656
3 16 16 Jules
CLUZEL
FRA Forward Racing Suter 156.4 +4.789
4 13 24 Toni ELIAS SPA Gresini
Racing Moto2
Moriwaki 156.3 +6.978
5 11 44 Roberto
ROLFO
ITA Italtrans S.T.R. Suter 156.3 +7.178
6 10 75 Mattia
PASINI
ITA JIR Moto2 Motobi 156.0 +11.804
7 9 12 Thomas
LUTHI
SWI Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Moriwaki 156.0 +11.861
8 8 3 Simone
CORSI
ITA JIR Moto2 Motobi 155.9 +12.346
9 7 2 Gabor
TALMACSI
HUN Fimmco Speed Up Speed Up 155.8 +13.821
10 6 40 Sergio
GADEA
SPA Tenerife 40 Pons Pons Kalex 155.4 +20.189
11 5 77 Dominique
AEGERTER
SWI Technomag-CIP Suter 155.4 +21.289
12 4 25 Alex
BALDOLINI
ITA Caretta Technology Race Dept I.C.P. 155.4 +21.360
13 3 10 Fonsi NIETO SPA Holiday
Gym G22
Moriwaki 155.3 +21.835
14 2 17 Karel
ABRAHAM
CZE Cardion AB Motoracing RSV 155.3 +21.973
15 1 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Matteoni
CP Racing
Moriwaki 155.1 +26.265
16 63 Mike DI
MEGLIO
FRA Mapfre Aspar Team RSV 155.1 +26.265
17 14 Ratthapark
WILAIROT
THA Thai Honda PTT Singha SAG Bimota 155.0