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.
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
|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|
|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|