Alex Marquez (SPA) celebrates his second win on home soil in Moto2
MotoGP 2017 – Round Seven – Catalunya
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.
Remy Gardner finished 20th at the end of 23 hard fought laps. Starting 26th on the grid after struggling once again with machine set-up at the start of the weekend, Gardner and the team on his side of the garage continued to work hard throughout taking a lot of positives from today’s result ahead of the Dutch TT at Assen in the Netherlands in a fortnight. Today’s 23 lap race may not have seen Gardner add to his 2017 championship points tally but nevertheless it was a positive result in more ways than one as Remy continued to build confidence and return to full fitness following a leg break at the start of the season.
Remy Gardner – P20
“It was a long hard race and it was always going to be tough after qualifying where we did. The temperature was much higher and it was quite slippery right from the start. My pace at the end of the race was decent so it was definitely much more positive than Mugello despite us not picking up any points if that makes sense. The team continues to work hard as do I and I am confident we can do pretty well at the next one in Assen. Thanks again to everyone supporting me, it’s been a tough start to the season but we will get there!”
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.
Alex Marquez – P1
“A victory feels great anywhere but here at this race it feels amazing, just like my first win at Jerez just a few races ago. The last lap was incredible, I could hear the cheering of all the fans so thanks very much for that support. This is a really important victory for me in the championship and for the team on this special day for them. Now I need to keep this momentum for the next race in Assen, but first we will enjoy the win with a party tonight.”
Catalunya Moto2 Race Results
- Alex MARQUEZ SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 150.5 42’40.502
- Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 150.3 +3.525
- Thomas LUTHI SWI CarXpert Interwetten Kalex 150.2 +4.452
- Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 150.2 +5.322
- Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Forward Racing Team Kalex 149.9 +9.930
- Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 149.7 +14.172
- Jorge NAVARRO SPA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex 149.5 +16.192
- Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Pons HP40 Kalex 149.4 +18.217
- Xavi VIERGE SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 149.4 +19.096
- Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex 149.4 +19.179
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 149.4 +19.361
- Simone CORSI ITA Speed Up Racing Speed Up 149.3 +19.957
- Isaac VIÑALES SPA BE-A-VIP SAG Team Kalex 149.3 +20.984
- Francesco BAGNAIA ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 149.2 +22.220
- Andrea LOCATELLI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 149.1 +23.501
- Yonny HERNANDEZ COL AGR Team Kalex 149.1 +23.565
- Dominique AEGERTER SWI Kiefer Racing Suter 149.1 +24.423
- Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 149.0 +24.776
- Axel PONS SPA RW Racing GP Kalex 149.0 +25.257
- Remy GARDNER AUS Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 148.8 +29.261
- Xavier SIMEON BEL Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex 148.7 +30.062
- Augusto FERNANDEZ SPA Speed Up Racing Speed Up 148.3 +38.420
- Edgar PONS SPA Pons HP40 Kalex 147.8 +47.235
- Jesko RAFFIN SWI Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 147.7 +47.390
- Iker LECUONA SPA Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 147.3 +54.588
- Khairul Idham PAWI MAL IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 147.3 +55.085
- Tetsuta NAGASHIMA JPN Teluru SAG Team Kalex 147.2 +57.049
- Federico FULIGNI ITA Forward Junior Team Kalex 146.6 +1’07.3442
Catalunya Moto2 Championship Points Standings
- Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex ITA 123
- Thomas LUTHI Kalex SWI 116
- Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 103
- Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 83
- Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 69
- Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex ITA 55
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex JPN 46
- Dominique AEGERTER Suter SWI 46
- Luca MARINI Kalex ITA 41
- Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 SPA 39
- Simone CORSI Speed Up ITA 39
- Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex ITA 37
- Marcel SCHROTTER Suter GER 32
- Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex MAL 29
- Jorge NAVARRO Kalex SPA 22
- Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex FRA 21
- Yonny HERNANDEZ Kalex COL 13
- Brad BINDER KTM RSA 13
- Axel PONS Kalex SPA 13
- Sandro CORTESE Suter GER 10
- Ricard CARDUS KTM SPA 7
- Isaac VIÑALES Kalex SPA 6
- Jesko RAFFIN Kalex SWI 5
- Xavier SIMEON Kalex BEL 5
- Danny KENT Suter GBR 3
- Remy GARDNER Tech 3 AUS 2
- Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex ITA 1
- Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex JPN 1
- Edgar PONS Kalex SPA