Franco Morbidelli began his fourth year in Moto2 in dominate fashion, the 22-year-old Italian winning the opening three rounds in Qatar, Argentina and Texas. But at Jerez, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS pilot crashed out, suffering a DNF.Morbidelli was seeking redemption at round five of 2017 Moto2 held at Le Mans, and he got it. “Fast Franky” was able to hold off a charging Sky Racing Team VR46’s Francesco Bagnaia to claim his fourth win in five races.
Bagnaia crossed the line 1.714 seconds behind Morbidelli, with CarXpert Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi claiming the final podium position 5.837 seconds behind.Following is from the official 2017 Le Mans Moto2 Results race report:Lüthi got the best launch off the line, with Morbidelli moving up past Bagnaia as the two fought it out through the first corners and it looked like the Swiss rider could escape.Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) crashed early, and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) slotting into the chase behind the top three as another to make a good start.Morbidelli didn’t leave it long to pounce for the lead up front, with a stunning duel then unfolding between the Champion leader and his Swiss challenger before Lüthi ran wide as Morbidelli moved up the inside – and the number 12 found himself pushed back to fourth.That left Bagnaia and Marquez chasing the Championship leader out front and Lüthi regrouping, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) lurking in fifth.Bagnaia held firm closely behind Morbidelli in the lead, with a small gap appearing back to Lüthi as he tried to attack Marquez – but the rider from Cervera was holding firm. With a handful of laps to go the Swiss rider made it stick, leaving Marquez to bring it home in P4 after an impressive display despite a small fracture in his foot sustained on Saturday.Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was a high profile crasher out of the top ten in a difficult day for the team, with Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) then left in a gap behind Pasini to fly the flag as fastest Suter once again in sixth. Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) took a solid seventh ahead of Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) after passing the Italian late on, with Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) in ninth ahead of more good form from Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team) to complete the top ten.Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) took P11 in a solid points scoring finish, ahead of Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Ricky Cardus. Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) took points in P14, with Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) locking out the fastest 15.With his win, Morbidelli now has 100 points, 20 ahead of Luthi and 38 ahead of Marquez, the brother of three-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.The 2017 Moto2 series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, a home race for Morbidelli.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!