The season 2017 has officially started. First race weekend of the season did take place in Qatar but who would guess that it would be affected by rain a lot. Saturday’s qualifying had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions and the starting grid then was determined by the free practises times. At least they were able to ride the free practises on Thursday and Friday.
Franco Morbidelli was on pole position for the first time in his Moto2 career. Alex Márquez and Thomas Lüthi completed the front row.
Takaaki Nakagami, Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent started from the second row. Dominique Aegerter, Xavi Vierge and Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia was on the third row.
Franco Morbidelli made a perfect start and went into the lead. Thomas Lüthi was behind him, then Alex Márquez. Morbidelli and Lüthi was overtaking each other for a few times but it was always Morbidelli who was the better one in the end of the lap.
A few laps later Morbidelli started to break away from his rivals and he was building a solid lead.
Meanwhile, Remy Gardner, Hafizh Syahrin and Mattia Pasini were all involved in a collision. Remy Gardner seemed to be very furious about the situation. His gesticulation said it all.
Gardner and Syahrin were out of the race while Pasini was able to continue.
Miguel Oliveira was doing a great ride as he was moving to P5 already. And he was closing on Takaaki Nakagami who was racing on P4. Third Márquez also wasn’t that far away. Things started to be pretty interesting. Just Morbidelli continued with his perfect ride on the first position.
The wildcard rider, local Saeed Al Sulaiti crashed from the race. Later also the Moto2 rookie Jorge Navarro crashed.
In the battle for podium things changed as Takaaki Nakagami overtook Alex Márquez for P3. Márquez did small mistake and he looked disconcerted a little bit. A while later also Miguel Oliveira overtook him.
Nakagami and Oliveira were coming closer to Lüthi. But he felt the danger so he started to do quick laps and escaped them by some more tenths. It was the fight for P3 between Nakagami and Oliveira but although Oliveira was literally behind the Japanese he didn’t do any overtaking manoeuvre.
Franco Morbidelli did it and gained his first ever victory. Thomas Lüthi, who won there last year, was second this time and Takaaki Nakagami finished third.
Perfect ride from Miguel Oliveira who was 4th. Who would expect that KTM bike would be that good in their debut race in Moto2?
Alex Márquez finished 5th.
Luca Marini was 6th and he was the one who won the battle in the other group. Fabio Quartararo was 7th in his Moto2 debut, Lorenzo Baldassarri 8th, Xavi Vierge 9th, Axel Pons completed the top 10.
Another Moto2 rookies Francesco Bagnaia, Brad Binder and Andrea Locatelli were 12th, 20th and 27th respectively. Stefano Manzi was the last one.
The returnee from MotoGP Yonny Hernández was only 18th.
There were some changes in the start list for the race. Iker Lecuona is seriously injured and Julián Simón (who works as Tito Rabat’s coach now) replaced him. He was 23rd in the race. Also Axel Bassani didn’t start and Ricard Cardús was racing instead of him. He finished 25th.
Here you can see the whole race results.
The Championship standing is of course same as the race results.
The second race weekend of the season will be in Argentina from 7th to 9th April.