Results and summary of a thrilling Moto2 race at Qatar:
Marc Marquez has made a triumphant return to the front of the Moto2 World Championship, winning the season opener at Qatar after a tight and race-long battle with Thom Luthi and Andrea Iannone. The win was not without controversy, as Marquez forced Luthi wide after just getting ahead on the final straight, dropping Luthi out of contention.
The race turned into a thriller from the start. Luthi got the drop into the first corner, and soon a group of six formed, consisting of Luthi, Pol Espargaro, Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone, Marc Marquez and Simone Corsi. With such a tight group, the racing was always going to be good, but the quality of the Moto2 field turned this into a classic. Pol Espargaro held the early advantage, but after a comedy of errors - Espargaro, Corsi, Marquez, Luthi all running wide braking for Turn 1 - only three were left.
Luthi led for the final few laps, until Marquez attacked at the start of the last lap. He just crept past Luthi along the straight, and thinking he had past the Interwetten rider, pulled across to take his line. Luthi had put up a slightly better defense than Marquez expected, though, his front wheel still level with Marquez' rear, and the Swiss rider found himself forced wide as Marquez moved across to enter Turn 1. A livid Luthi was forced to run wide, and dropped out of podium contention.
The excitement was not over yet. Marquez' pass on Luthi had allowed Iannone to make up the final meters to sit on Marquez' tail, and the Italian attacked in the middle of the rear section. He parried Marquez attacks all the way to the final corner, where Marquez got the better drive and just pipped the Speed Master rider to the post. After 5 months off the bike and a long period of recovery from his eye injury, suffered at Sepang, he returned to take victory, albeit a controversial one. Iannone was forced to take 2nd, with Pol Espargaro in 4th, while Thom Luthi had to make do with 5th after being forced off.
|2||29||Andrea IANNONE||SPEED UP||40'34.286||0.061|
|7||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||SPEED UP||40'41.019||6.794|
|9||38||Bradley SMITH||TECH 3||40'45.053||10.828|
|17||19||Xavier SIMEON||TECH 3||40'53.339||19.114|
|28||7||Alexander LUNDH||MZ||Racing MZ FTR 41'53.296||1'19.071|
|15||Alex DE ANGELIS||SUTER||36'41.215||2 laps|
|96||Nasser Hasan AL MALKI||MORIWAKI||21'22.226||10 laps|
|44||Roberto ROLFO||SUTER||11'21.485||17 laps|