Qatar Moto2: Morbidelli claims dominant maiden win
Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored a dominant career-first Moto2 victory in the opening round of the 2017 season in Qatar.
With heavy rain causing the cancellation of Saturday's qualifying, Morbidelli started the race from pole due to having the best practice time from Thursday and Friday.
Although he was passed by class veteran Thomas Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten) during the opening lap, he reclaimed first place on the third lap.
The Italian quickly built a safe gap and consistently stretched his advantage, leading by almost four seconds at one point and eventually winning by 2.6s.
"Just great," said Morbidelli of his first Grand Prix win. "It's a very good sensation. After all this time, it's just amazing to get this victory in Moto2. I'm very happy."
While Luthi couldn't challenge Morbidelli, he still finished second comfortably.
Honda Team Asia's Takaaki Nakagami completed the podium, having passed Alex Marquez (Marc VDS) at around half-distance.
The Spaniard losing third was just the beginning of his troubles, however, as he was also passed by KTM Ajo's Miguel Oliveira.
Oliveira also put pressure on Nakagami for the final podium spot, but he ended up settling for fourth.
With the top five building a significant lead in the early stages, Marquez held on to fifth despite losing a lot of time of the riders ahead.
Luca Marini (Forward) won a duel against Fabio Quartararo (Pons) to take sixth, although the Frenchman was the top rookie in seventh.
Marini's teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri finished eighth, followed by Xavi Vierge (Tech 3) and Axel Pons (RW Racing).
Reigning Moto3 champion Brad Binder (KTM Ajo) was 20th, still suffering from an arm injury picked up in testing, as fellow class newcomer and former title rider Jorge Navarro (Gresini) crashed out of the race.
|9||Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||17.477|
|17||Simone Corsi||Speed Up||28.193|
|25||Ricard Cardus||Speed Up||43.000|
|28||Khairul Idham Pawi||Kalex||51.206|
|Jorge Navarro||Kalex||12 laps|
|Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||12 laps|
|Saeed Al Sulaiti||Speed Up||15 laps|
|Remy Gardner||Tech 3|
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