He chose a gala evening to win his first Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing race: Franco Morbidelli won the Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar, demonstrating speed, consistency and precision, riding the team Marc VDS Kalex to perfection, as is well demonstrated by the perfect wear on the Dunlop tyres during the free practice sessions which were almost all dominated by him.
Starting from pole position, the young Italian battled with Luthi for just one lap, overtaking him and moving into the lead and leaving his Moto2 companions behind, crossing the finish line alone and undisturbed. He was undoubtedly happy, so much that he did not even look up from the top fairing of his Kalex, this year fitted with Öhlins suspension systems that have infused confidence in the number 21 rider, now truly complete and ready to launch an assault on the title after just missing victory in 2016 several times: “I feel very good. This is a great sensation, it is extraordinary - Franco was beside himself with joy in the parc fermé at the end of the race - After such a long time I have finally won.”
Luthi battled for just one lap with the “Morbido” before surrendering. Second place goes to the team Interwetten Swiss rider, third to Japanese rider Nakagami who had his hands full staying ahead of Miguel Oliveira, who rode the KTM in its début to an excellent fourth place finish.
Alex Marquez struggled with tyre wear once again today and finished fifth, just ahead of an excellent Luca Marini in sixth. Behind them was rookie Quartararo with a nice seventh place and eighth for Baldassarri. Another well-positioned Italian was Francesco Bagnaia, twelfth in his first Moto2 GP on the team Sky VR46 Kalex, beating out former Moto3 champion Danny Kent with the team Kiefer Suter.
After a race in the points zone, Simone Corsi finished seventeenth, whereas reigning Moto3 champion Brad Binder rode the second KTM to a twentieth place finish. Pasini, Locatelli and Manzi struggled, with the latter escorted all the way to the VR46 garage after a race ridden with a serious knee problem.
Championship standings: Morbidelli 25, Luthi 20, Nakagami 16