2017 Qatar Moto2 Results: Morbidelli Claims Debut Series Win

2017 Qatar Moto2 Results: Morbidelli Claims Debut Series Win
2017 Qatar Moto2 Results: Franco Morbidelli

2017 Qatar Moto2 Results

Last season, EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex pilot Franco Mobidelli impressed with eight podiums, including four runner ups. But the 22-year-old Italian was always trumped by two other Kalex pilots—2017 Moto2 Champion Johann Zarco, the two-time  World Champion who now competes in MotoGP, and Thomas Luthi.

Hungry for his debut Moto2 victory, Morbidelli held nothing back for the opening round of 2017 at Losail International Raceway in Qatar. First he topped Friday’s free practice sessions. Next, Mobidelli was assigned pole position based on the practice results because qualifying was canceled due to rain storms.

Come Sunday’s 20-lap Moto2 under the floodlights, Morbidelli again held nothing back. He got out front quickly from pole, and only lost the lead to CarXpert Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi before fighting back.

2017 Qatar Moto2 Results: Morbidelli Claims Debut Series Win
2017 Qatar Moto2 Results: Franco Morbidelli

From there, Morbidelli was untouchable, evenutally winning 2017 Qatar Moto2 by 2.681 seconds ahead of Luthi, and 3.304 ahead of Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami.

“This first victory is a great sensation after all this time, it is really amazing that I confirm that I am capable of winning races,” Morbidelli says. “My pace was really strong and I was pulling away from the others once I got ahead of Lüthi and had a clear track, so it did not feel like a difficult race. The main thing today was to bring to the track what I had in my mind, that I could win here after such a strong preseason of testing and practice in Qatar.”

Following is the official 2017 Qatar Moto2 race report:

A stunning start for poleman Morbidelli saw the Italian retain his lead off the line, with Lüthi tucking into second as Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) lost a place down to third. It was almost as-you-were at the front over the initial laps, as the front row were chased by Nakagami and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

Morbidelli’s stunning pace throughout practice in Qatar hadn’t deserted him come race day, as the Italian got the better of the Swiss rider and built up a lead of over two seconds by 11 laps to go. Unchallenged and supreme to the flag, the EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider kept it characteristically ice cool to the flag.

Lüthi had a steady ride to second to begin an expected title charge with a solid podium, with Oliveira then left chasing Nakagami in a bid to get the new KTM chassis on the podium first time out – but the Japanese rider held firm to take P3.

Oliveira was followed home by Alex Marquez, who brought it home in fifth after an early challenge for the podium.

It was a stunning intermediate class debut for rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40), whose huge mileage in testing paid off as he brought it home in P7 first time out, just losing out in a battle with Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) over sixth.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) moved up from his grid spot to take eighth, with Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) and Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) completing the top ten.

Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was top Suter in P11, just ahead of rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46), with Danny Kent (Kiefer Racing), Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten) and Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) locking out the top fifteen.

Reigning Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crossed the line in P20 as he comes back from a broken arm and some issues with recovery in preseason.

With his win, Morbidelli has 25 points, five ahead of Luthi and nine ahead of Nakagami.

The Moto2 riders now break for two weeks ahead of round 2 of 18 at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

2017 Qatar Moto2 Results

Pos.PointsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12521Franco MORBIDELLIITAEG 0,0 Marc VDSKalex160.140’18.480
22012Thomas LUTHISWICarXpert InterwettenKalex159.9+2.681
31630Takaaki NAKAGAMIJPNIDEMITSU Honda Team AsiaKalex159.9+3.304
41344Miguel OLIVEIRAPORRed Bull KTM AjoKTM159.9+3.584
51173Alex MARQUEZSPAEG 0,0 Marc VDSKalex159.4+11.226
61010Luca MARINIITAForward Racing TeamKalex159.2+13.747
7940Fabio QUARTARAROFRAPons HP40Kalex159.2+13.988
887Lorenzo BALDASSARRIITAForward Racing TeamKalex159.0+17.465
9797Xavi VIERGESPATech 3 RacingTech 3159.0+17.477
10649Axel PONSSPARW Racing GPKalex158.9+17.767
11577Dominique AEGERTERSWIKiefer RacingSuter158.9+17.802
12442Francesco BAGNAIAITASKY Racing Team VR46Kalex158.9+18.090
13352Danny KENTGBRKiefer RacingSuter158.8+19.323
1422Jesko RAFFINSWIGarage Plus InterwettenKalex158.6+22.798
15119Xavier SIMEONBELTasca Racing Scuderia Moto2Kalex158.5+24.009
1623Marcel SCHROTTERGERDynavolt Intact GPSuter158.5+24.077
1724Simone CORSIITASpeed Up RacingSpeed Up158.3+28.193
1868Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAGR TeamKalex158.0+31.828
1945Tetsuta NAGASHIMAJPNTeluru SAG TeamKalex158.0+31.839
2041Brad BINDERRSARed Bull KTM AjoKTM157.9+34.046
2132Isaac VIÑALESSPABE-A-VIP SAG TeamKalex157.5+40.227
2211Sandro CORTESEGERDynavolt Intact GPSuter157.5+40.279
2360Julian SIMONSPAGarage Plus InterwettenKalex157.5+40.446
2454Mattia PASINIITAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex157.4+42.501
2588Ricard CARDUSSPASpeed Up RacingSpeed Up157.3+43.000
2657Edgar PONSSPAPons HP40Kalex157.1+47.072
275Andrea LOCATELLIITAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex157.0+47.486
2889Khairul Idham PAWIMALIDEMITSU Honda Team AsiaKalex156.8+51.206
2962Stefano MANZIITASKY Racing Team VR46Kalex156.1+1’02.080
Not Classified
9Jorge NAVARROSPAFederal Oil Gresini Moto2Kalex157.612 Laps
55Hafizh SYAHRINMALPetronas Raceline MalaysiaKalex150.512 Laps
8Saeed AL SULAITIQATQMMF RacingSpeed Up154.115 Laps
87Remy GARDNERAUSTech 3 RacingTech 30 Lap