2017 Le Mans Moto2 Race Result: A Win Both Disputed And Dominating

It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think that Tom Luthi expected to break the unlikely record that said no pole position holder managed to go on and win the race in the intermediate class at Le Mans. And yet, he didn’t.

What we did witness instead was win number four out of five races for championship leader Franco Morbidelli and an increasingly impressive chase by Pecco Bagnaia in his (and his team’s) fifth race in the class. Luthi had to settle for the final podium position after stumbling upon Alex Marquez in the final part of the race.

Luthi probably expected better after he took off at the start, Morbidelli squeezing ahead of Bagnaia behind him. Morbidelli was soon after hot on Luthi’s tail and took the lead of the race by the end of lap one. The Swiss rider was eager to get back in front and attempt an escape, Luthi getting past the Italian on several occasions but not really making an impact at the top.

After picking up an injury earlier in the weekend, Alex Marquez had a cautious start before starting to make his way forward, past Aegerter and Bagnaia by lap three, and catching up on the duo disputing the lead. A fiercely and closely-disputed fight with Morbidelli pushed Luthi back to fourth and brought Marquez and Bagnaia into play.

The situation cooled off once Luthi and Morbidelli got separated, the lead Italian pushing hard to build a gap steadily over half a second on Bagnaia and the rest of the podium fight. So hard, in fact, that Morbidelli challenged the circuit record – but so did Bagnaia behind him, the gap never reaching the one second barrier.

Bagnaia looked like he was biding his time until the final few laps, when his red sectors were a hurry-up signal to Morbidelli, both VR46 Academy riders starting to push hard once again and milking very once of performance left in the tyres.

The two Italians found themselves over one second ahead of the battle for third place, Alex Marquez probably in less than ideal physical condition but holding off Luthi’s attacks with a good display of late braking and defensive riding. The Swiss rider only made it past with five laps to go, being left with three seconds to make up to the leaders. The task looked insurmountable, Luthi eventually finishing four seconds down on Bagnaia.

Mattia Pasini had made his way to lead the chasing group early into the race, but was already one second down on the leaders by lap seven. The Italian tried to catch up with the lead group but his tyres didn’t seem like agreeing, so Pasini got stuck two seconds behind the lead and a further two in front of Aegerter, who finished sixth.

The top ten was completed by Takaaki Nakagami, Simone Corsi, Xavi Vierge and Yonny Hernandez. Despite a great starting position, Luca Marini crashed out on lap one, his teammate Lorenzo Baldassari also crashing out of the chasing group ten laps later.

There was no magic formula to be found for Miguel Oliveira, the KTM rider finishing the race much in the same position he occupied throughout the weekend: seventeenth.

With no points on the board for Oliveira, he concedes third position in the standings to Alex Marquez. No such issues for Morbidelli, who extended his lead to 20 points in front of Luthi, Marquez already 38 points down on his teammate. Bagnaia adds significantly to his tally to be just 6 points behind Oliveira.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex 42'17.557
2 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex +1.714
3 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +5.837
4 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +6.212
5 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +13.537
6 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter +14.945
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex +16.413
8 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up +16.681
9 97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 +17.163
10 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Kalex +17.605
11 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex +22.528
12 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Suter +22.909
13 88 Ricard CARDUS KTM +23.801
14 11 Sandro CORTESE Suter +24.322
15 49 Axel PONS Kalex +25.959
16 19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex +26.116
17 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +26.394
18 40 Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex +26.846
19 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +28.506
20 87 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 +48.794
21 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +49.354
22 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +49.680
23 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex +49.913
24 47 Axel BASSANI Speed Up +1'03.235
25 57 Edgar PONS Kalex +1'03.801
    Not Classified    
  32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex 1 Lap
  6 Tarran MACKENZIE Suter 5 Laps
  7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 9 Laps
  9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 18 Laps
  62 Stefano MANZI Kalex 19 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  10 Luca MARINI Kalex 0 Lap

 

Round Number: 
5
2017
Tweet Button: 

Back to top