Final farewell: Zarco wins a four-way war
Moto2™ signed off 2016 with a true grand finale – a breathless first half of the race to be remembered as Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP40) and Tom Lüthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) went to war in stunning style. A showcase of the best of Moto2™, the fight then became a duel for the lead between equally the aggressive Italian and Frenchman – before Zarco started to pull away, taking his final victory in the intermediate class ahead of his graduation to MotoGP™. As tyres dropped towards the end, some paid the price for the fight – as Lüthi came back through to take second, and confirm second in the Championship, leaving Morbidelli to complete the podium in P3.
The EG0,0 Marc VDS rider’s 18 point haul means he just misses the top three in the standings, as Rins’ fifth place keeps the Spaniard ahead by a single point – after also suffering at the end, caught by Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Sam Lowes.
Lüthi got the best start off the line, but Zarco held firm into Turn 1 – and then the battle began. With Valencia having a reputation as a track difficult to overtake on, the four at the front proved the exception to the rule with an incredible showcase of the best of Moto2™.
Julian Simon (QMMF Racing Team) had an unlucky end to a good weekend as he crashed out, leaving Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) to cross the line in P6 and P7. Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) ended his Moto2™ career in the top ten in eighth, ahead of a solid intermediate class ride from Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) to end the year with a P9.
Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team) completed the top ten after a stunning save.
Moto2™ Race Results
1 – Johann Zarco (FRA) KALEX 43’17.626
2 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI) KALEX +3.281
3 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA) KALEX +4.981