Alex Marquez destroys the field for second Moto2 win
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took a stunning second Moto2™ win at his home Catalan GP; the ‘Pistolas’ shooting away from pole position and never seen again. The race was the 250th start for the EG 0,0 Marc VDS outfit, with the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion supplying plenty to cheer about for the second time this season. Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) followed up his home heroics and win in Mugello with another podium in second, with Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completing the rostrum in P3.
Marquez got a stunning start from pole, easily away into the lead as teammate Franco Morbidelli shot off the second row to take second into Turn 1, diving up the inside of Pasini and Lüthi. The Swiss rider then headed wide through the run off, rejoining behind Pasini before Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) needed no invitation to slice through.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was the rider to drop back slightly at the start from the front row, but the big headline first time over the line was Marquez’ advantage at the front – already over a second.
The 2014 Moto3™ World Champion continued to pull away, with the gap hovering around four seconds by mid-race distance and the game changing from ‘charge’ to ‘control’.
It was initially a three rider fight to decide who would be first on the chase, with Pasini, Morbidelli and Lüthi in the battle for second – and Mugello winner Pasini the rider able to pull away. Swiss veteran Lüthi overcame the Championship leader to take third, before Morbidelli was then caught and passed by first Oliveira and then Baldassarri to drop back into sixth despite his lightning start.
Pasini kept it calm in second to keep Lüthi at bay for his second consecutive podium as the race settled into a rhythm, with the Swiss veteran completing the rostrum in P3.
Miguel Oliveira was on the chase late on, but the Portuguese rider eventually crossed the line in fourth in another impressive points haul for the new KTM Moto2™ outfit. Baldassarri, after the disappointment of a DNF in Mugello, completed the top five to bounce back in style.
Rookie home hero Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) threatened Morbidelli for sixth for a number of laps before the Championship leader was able to pull away, leaving Navarro to take seventh at the flag following an impressive rookie ride at the track on which he took his first ever win in Moto3™.
Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) was the next rookie home in P8 after a spectacular battle to decide who would complete the top ten, with Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) striking late to move up into P9 despite missing the race in Mugello due to injury. Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) locked out the top ten, with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) pushed back into P11 on the final laps and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) crashing out late on.
Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) was P12 over the line ahead of a solid home ride for Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team), with Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) taking yet more points in P14 as he pushes for Rookie of the Year despite a tougher weekend at the Catalan GP. Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) completed the top fifteen, scoring his first World Championship point in the intermediate class.
Next it’s Assen and the Dutch GP, as Marquez looks to take a consecutive win in Moto2™ for the first time – and Morbidelli aims to reassert his authority on the title chase.
Moto2 Race Results
1 – Alex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) 42’40.502
2 – Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) + 3.525
3 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) + 4.452