2016 Aragon Moto2 Race Result: Title Battles, Teammate Battles And A Sublime Win

An outstanding Moto2 race managed to nearly reach the bar set by the smaller class earlier on, a tense affair despite the victor checking out soon after the start and barely featuring on the TV screens. Sam Lowes made up for the bad luck and mistakes of recent races to take a splendid dominating win on his fiftieth grand prix start, crossing the line over three seconds ahead of the opposition.

The podium was decided in an extremely late teammate battle, Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli throwing the dice in the final turn and it coming out in favour of the local rider, Marquez second by a mere three hundredths of a second and grabbing his first podium in quite a long time.

It didn’t look like it was going to be that much trouble for Marquez after the start, the Marc VDS rider taking the lead in turn one. But an impatient Lowes got back his top spot, the duo already building a gap of a second ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri by the end of the first lap.

A bit further back, Johann Zarco lost some places in a tangle at the start, the world championship leader stuck in a fight with Franco Morbidelli. While that was going on, Alex Rins recovered a handful of places on the first laps, finding himself overtaking his title rival by lap three.

Lowes ran a hot pace at the front, keeping Marquez at bay, around half a second behind, the chasing group led by Thomas Luthi and including Baldassarri, Takaaki Nakagami, Jonas Folger, Rins and Morbidelli. Zarco continued to struggle, overtaken by Simone Corsi and riding around two seconds behind his main title rival.

With red sectors popping up all over the top ten, there was little action besides some moves from Nakagami and Morbidelli as Baldassarri appeared to fade away after being as high as third after the start.

With fourteen laps to go, the script settled, Lowes over a second ahead of Marquez, Luthi some two seconds behind the Spaniard, Nakagami and Morbidelli keeping close but not close enough to battle. Rins dropped a couple of seconds on the group, battling for sixth position with Baldassarri and a small group including Corsi, Zarco and Folger.

Ten laps left, the cameras turned to Morbidelli and Nakagami fighting for fourth spot, the rest of the top ten holding station. As Nakagami lost some ground to finish fifth, Morbidelli stalked Luthi to steal the last podium position with eight laps to go and set sights on his teammate. The Marc VDS duo started a remote battle, both riders setting red sectors, Marquez trying to keep the one-second gap and Morbidelli pushing to reduce that distance. The gap came down to three hundredths of a second on the final lap, the duo switching places in the final turn but Marquez back in front by the time they crossed the line.

Meanwhile, Zarco decided to pounce in an attempt to get closer to Rins in sixth place, overtaking Corsi but stuck behind Baldassarri in eighth position to the end of the race. In terms of championship standings, that leaves Zarco one little point ahead of Rins, race winner Lowes back in third and with a more manageable 40 points behind Zarco.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 22 Sam LOWES Kalex 40'00.885
2 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +3.289
3 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex +3.321
4 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +5.181
5 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex +10.722
6 40 Alex RINS Kalex +12.164
7 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +12.385
8 5 Johann ZARCO Kalex +12.612
9 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up +14.004
10 94 Jonas FOLGER Kalex +18.164
11 19 Xavier SIMEON Speed Up +22.413
12 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +22.671
13 11 Sandro CORTESE Kalex +22.909
14 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex +23.437
15 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +25.293
16 49 Axel PONS Kalex +25.828
17 97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 +26.404
18 4 Steven ODENDAAL Kalex +26.525
19 87 Remy GARDNER Kalex +30.341
20 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex +30.438
21 60 Julian SIMON Speed Up +30.505
22 77 Dominique AEGERTER Kalex +41.767
23 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +42.019
24 57 Edgar PONS Kalex +42.058
25 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +45.444
26 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT Kalex +45.629
27 70 Robin MULHAUSER Kalex +55.886
28 32 Isaac VIÑALES Tech 3 +55.889
29 52 Danny KENT Kalex 1 Lap
    Not Classified    
  89 Alan TECHER NTS 14 Laps

 

Round Number: 
14
2016
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Comments

How costly might Zarco's Silverstone punt (abeted by Lowes' self destruction at other races) prove to have been?

I see Zarco as a bit of a Dovi; losing ground in the early stages, making up ground later. He's very good at managing tyres, absolutely no doubt about that, but I have very strong doubts whether he'll ever be able to take that to the next level.

Rins is a real talent, as is Lowes. But in order to start winning championships you first have to stop falling off.

For me, the real shame about this year is that, in spite of Zarco's relatively poor performance, he's still up there. That is not necessarily because of failings by his main rivals, it is because he has been tremendously lucky in his poor races. Every poor race that he has had this year has ended with quicker riders falling in front of him, resulting in a minimal defecit in the championship. Yet his main rivals have had no such luck.

I don't want to paint this as a criticism after all, it was Napoleon himself who said that he'd much rather have a lucky general than a good one, yet it appears that Zarco has had a long run of good results in which he really had no say at all.

"Zarco's relatively poor performance"...go back and review the season.  The bloke is a gun, and he's beaten all of his peers fair and square more than once.  The suggestion that, in staying on when others have obviously over-reached and fallen off, he has somehow been the beneficiary of inordinate luck is nonsense.

Champion in 2015 and leading the championship by a point at the minute.  Yeah, just lucky I guess.

I don't think you can win titles at this level just by being lucky. For sure bad luck can stop you getting there, but to win you really need to have some serious talent.