Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) has taken his first victory in the World Championship since 2009 at the Italian GP, coming out on top in style after a fight to the flag against Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). The three men crossed the line covered by just over a tenth in one of the closest Moto2™ races of the season so far.
It was tight into Turn 1 but there were no changes in the top three on the grid past the first corner, before Pasini struck for the lead soon after to cross the line in P1 first time round, ahead of polesitter Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Marquez.
Drama then struck on the first lap just behind the front three, as Forward Racing Team’s Lorenzo Baldassarri highsided into Turn 15 – collecting title hopeful Takaaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) as the two tumbled out into the gravel, but both riders escaped the incident unharmed.
Back at the front, Marquez took Morbidelli for second to settle into the rhythm behind Pasini, as Lüthi pushed to stay with and catch the front trio. Marquez then took the lead, Pasini hit back, and the front four found themselves the pacesetters as they pulled over two and a half seconds clear of chasing Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P5.
Morbidelli then began to drop back, trailing the top three by over a second as the trio at the head of the pack held station. Then, the race burst back into life as Pasini, Marquez and Lüthi took the gloves off, with a three-way fight for the win lighting up Mugello.
As the final lap dawned, Lüthi struck for the lead in spectacular style, but Pasini dug in on home turf. Having been pushed back to third, the Italian pulled his almost signature move on Marquez through Casanovi and Savelli, before striking against Lüthi straight after. Ahead as the end of the lap appeared, Pasini kept himself clear in the lead and pushed hard through the final corners to hold it over the line as the two men behind tried to slipstream. The Italian took his first win in the Moto2™ class and his first win since the 250 race at Mugello in 2009 by only 0.052 over Lüthi, with Marquez only another 0.084 back after the incredible showdown.
Morbidelli came home in a solid fourth place as he kept it calm to take home good points for his Championship charge, ahead of an equally lonely ride for Miguel Oliveira to take yet another top finish in fifth.
Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) just pipped Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) over the line to sixth, with Italian veteran Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) taking eighth on home soil. Top rookie was an impressive weekend from Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) to cross the line in ninth, after key rookie rival Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) crashed out late on.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a stunning comeback from his arm injury to take tenth, riding for the first time since Argentina and putting on an impressive show.
Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) were 11th to 13th respectively, with Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) finding some better luck to come home in P14. Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) completed the points.
Now it’s Marquez turf at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as the Championship closes back up a little on the road back from Mugello.
Moto2 Race Results
1 – Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) 39’30.974
2 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) + 0.052
3 – Alex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) + 0.136