LOSAIL. Flexbox HP 40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri had to fight off huge last lap pressure from the returning Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) to take Moto2™ victory at the VisitQatar Grand Prix.
The Italian lead from lap two but had to ride brilliantly in the final sector of the last lap to hold off a swarming Lüthi, eventually taking the chequered flag just 0.026 of a second clear of the Swiss rider.
Gardner stole third place from Schrötter on the final lap, but the German slipstreamed his way past the Australian to take the final step on the box by two thousandths of a second, completing a Dynovolt Intact GP double podium finish. Flexbox HP 40’s Augusto Fernandez came from row four of the grid to take fifth place, narrowly ahead of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).
Marquez eventually had to settle for seventh, over two seconds clear of SKY Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini in a lonely eighth place. Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini was one of the rides of the day to take ninth on his Moto2™ debut fighting off Vierge, who slipped down to tenth after a strong start.
Augusto Fernandez: P5
“I am happy with this start of the championship, it was important to start the season in the front positions. Since yesterday we knew that we could be ahead and little by little, calmly, I set my pace. I have overtaken several pilots to reach the front group and I think with a couple of laps more we would have got the podium. Anyway, I'm happy and thanks to the team for their work. Now, let's go for Argentina!"
Xavi Vierge: P10
"I made a very good start and everything started as planned. But after about five laps I started to feel bad with the front train in the middle of the curve loosing half a second per lap. I tried to defend my position but it was impossible for me and I tried to finish the race as best as I could. It's a shame because we had worked very well all weekend. We had the pace, but in the race I did not find myself as well as in the practice sessions. It was important to finish and score because the season is very long. In any case, I want to thank the work of my entire team and we will definitely try again in Argentina."
Simone Corsi: P19
"A rather difficult race, we could not be fast enough throughout the weekend. I thought I could make a good comeback but a lot of chattering came out during the race. An uphill start that should not demoralize. Indeed, it must give us charge to seek immediate redemption in Argentina."
Dimas Ekky Pratama: P24
"I'm excited for my first season at the world championship. The race was difficult because the level is very high but I know where I need to improve and already from Argentina it will be better."