Franco Morbidelli leads Moto2 on the road south
After a stunning victory first time out in 2017 – also his first win – Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) is the man on the move at the start of the season. Taking the first lead of the year, it’s now up to his key rivals to catch him.
Teammate Alex Marquez will be one up for revenge, after starting in P2 only 0.023 off the Italian in practice. Grip trouble in the race saw Marquez come home fifth, and the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion will want to start hitting back straight away – big rivalries often start at home in the pitbox.
The three who finished in between Morbidelli and his teammate in Qatar will be big front threats again in Argentina. Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) took on Morbidelli head-to-head throughout the latter half of 2016, and the Swiss rider is a certain contender for the title this year. His mission, like Qatar’s P3 man Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) – also a man gunning for the crown – is to stop the Italian gaining momentum too early.
Then there’s Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miguel Oliveira, who took the new KTM chassis into the podium fight first time out. Now he’ll want to finish the job to open the Austrian factory’s rostrum account, whilst Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) – quickest rookie in Qatar – could also be a good bet for another front challenge.
Representing the continent in South America’s GP is Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team) as he settles into life in Moto2™ after riding in the premier class – flying the flag and wanting to get his campaign in gear for 2017.
Moto2™ are up at 10:55am local time on Friday.
Moto2 World Championship Classification
1 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 25 points
2 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) 20 points
3 – Takaaki Nakagami (JPN – Kalex) 16 points
4 – Miguel Oliveira (POR – KTM) 13 points
5 – Álex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) 11 points