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. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 160.1 40’18.480
2 20 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI CarXpert Interwetten Kalex 159.9 +2.681
3 16 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 159.9 +3.304
4 13 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 159.9 +3.584
5 11 73 Alex MARQUEZ SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 159.4 +11.226
6 10 10 Luca MARINI ITA Forward Racing Team Kalex 159.2 +13.747
7 9 40 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Pons HP40 Kalex 159.2 +13.988
8 8 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Forward Racing Team Kalex 159.0 +17.465
9 7 97 Xavi VIERGE SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 159.0 +17.477
10 6 49 Axel PONS SPA RW Racing GP Kalex 158.9 +17.767
11 5 77 Dominique AEGERTER SWI Kiefer Racing Suter 158.9 +17.802
12 4 42 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 158.9 +18.090
13 3 52 Danny KENT GBR Kiefer Racing Suter 158.8 +19.323
14 2 2 Jesko RAFFIN SWI Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 158.6 +22.798
15 1 19 Xavier SIMEON BEL Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex 158.5 +24.009
16 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Dynavolt Intact GP Suter 158.5 +24.077
17 24 Simone CORSI ITA Speed Up Racing Speed Up 158.3 +28.193
18 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL AGR Team Kalex 158.0 +31.828
19 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA JPN Teluru SAG Team Kalex 158.0 +31.839
20 41 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 157.9 +34.046
21 32 Isaac VIÑALES SPA BE-A-VIP SAG Team Kalex 157.5 +40.227
22 11 Sandro CORTESE GER Dynavolt Intact GP Suter 157.5 +40.279
23 60 Julian SIMON SPA Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 157.5 +40.446
24 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 157.4 +42.501
25 88 Ricard CARDUS SPA Speed Up Racing Speed Up 157.3 +43.000
26 57 Edgar PONS SPA Pons HP40 Kalex 157.1 +47.072
27 5 Andrea LOCATELLI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 157.0 +47.486
28 89 Khairul Idham PAWI MAL IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 156.8 +51.206
29 62 Stefano MANZI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 156.1 +1’02.080
Not Classified
9 Jorge NAVARRO SPA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex 157.6 12 Laps
55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex 150.5 12 Laps
8 Saeed AL SULAITI QAT QMMF Racing Speed Up 154.1 15 Laps
87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 0 Lap