2017 Qatar Moto2 Race Result: Dominant Display To Take Victory

Franco Morbidelli has taken a dominant victory in the Moto2 class at Qatar, the first win of his Grand Prix career.

The Italian took the lead from the start, converting pole position into first place going into the first corner. He had Tom Luthi in his wake, the Swiss rider a specialist around the Qatar circuit, while behind, Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami gave chase. Luthi grabbed the lead on the second lap, but he did not hold it for long.

Just over a lap later, Morbidelli took back the lead at Turn 12, and never looked back. Morbidelli quickly opened a gap, then built up a lead over a couple of seconds by simply outpacing everyone else on the track. Luthi's resistance was quickly broken.

The Swiss rider was left to deal with Morbidelli's Marc VDS teammate Alex Marquez. But Marquez' pace dropped rapidly after six laps, and he soon lost Luthi's tow. Nakagami was on a charge forward, and was bringing along Miguel Oliveira, the Portuguese rider making a strong debut on the KTM. Nakagami and Oliveira made short work of Marquez, and the Spaniard dropped off the back of the group.

Luthi, Nakagami and Oliveira were all very close, but never managed to quite get close enough to challenge one another. Oliveira gave it one last push on the final lap, but a minor wobble gave Nakagami just enough breathing room to hold on to second position. Luthi ended the race in second, ahead of Nakagami, while Oliveira took a very creditable fourth place finish on the KTM's first outing.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 21 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 40'18.480
2 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex +2.681
3 30 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex +3.304
4 44 Miguel Oliveira KTM +3.584
5 73 Alex Marquez Kalex +11.226
6 10 Luca Marini Kalex +13.747
7 40 Fabio Quartararo Kalex +13.988
8 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex +17.465
9 97 Xavi Vierge Tech 3 +17.477
10 49 Axel Pons Kalex +17.767
11 77 Dominique Aegerter Suter +17.802
12 42 Francesco Bagnaia Kalex +18.090
13 52 Danny Kent Suter +19.323
14 2 Jesko Raffin Kalex +22.798
15 19 Xavier Simeon Kalex +24.009
16 23 Marcel Schrotter Suter +24.077
17 24 Simone Corsi Speed Up +28.193
18 68 Yonny Hernandez Kalex +31.828
19 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex +31.839
20 41 Brad Binder KTM +34.046
21 32 Isaac Viñales Kalex +40.227
22 11 Sandro Cortese Suter +40.279
23 60 Julian Simon Kalex +40.446
24 54 Mattia Pasini Kalex +42.501
25 88 Ricard Cardus Speed Up +43.000
26 57 Edgar Pons Kalex +47.072
27 5 Andrea Locatelli Kalex +47.486
28 89 Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex +51.206
29 62 Stefano Manzi Kalex +1'02.080
Not Classified
9 Jorge Navarro Kalex 12 Laps
55 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 12 Laps
8 Saeed Al Sulaiti Speed Up 15 Laps
87 Remy Gardner Tech 3 0 Lap
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Morbidelli made it clear all throughout preseason that he is the favourite for the title and definitely followed up on that this weekend. We'll see how this first victory affects his confidence and upcoming performances, but history tells us that it should be on the up and up. Which is bad news for the rest of the field.

With the Top 5 in the class being the same throughout preseason and this weekend, including the race, I wonder if anyone of the other four can step up their game significantly to catch Franky on outright speed to make things difficult for him. I think at the moment he has the upper hand, but especially Tom Lüthi is usually a very consistent rider at the front, which might make the difference in the end if Morbidelli makes any mistakes.

Oliveira had a great debut with the KTM and he was so consistently fast that it was almost expected and I was even a bit disappointed he didn't grab the podium at the end. But this result bodes well for the KTM efforts and if anything I'd think they will grow stronger throughout the season which might make him into a genuine contender as well (fingers crossed). Jury still out on Taka and Marquez with regards to consistency, but we'll see.

Not the most exciting race ever, but an intriguing start to the championship nontheless.

Congratulations Franco.

the Kalex cup is underway for 2017. 11 Kalexs in the points

Congratulations KTM, first non Kalex. Welcome KTM to the other classes of Gp racing.

better luck next time in MotoGp

It wasn't quite the slug-fest we maybe hoped for, but Miguel was brilliant on the KTM (is Brad Binder riding injured?), the Suters were fast til they maybe chewed their tyres a bit towards the end, and that was a heroic ride from Xavi Vierge on the Tech 3 (someone sign him to a top team soon, please). Overall the class is heading back in the right direction with a bit more chassis diversity again.

Congrats to Franco - well deserved and surely more to follow.