The third race weekend of the Moto2 2017 Championship did take part at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas, USA. Franco Morbidelli, Mattia Pasini and Alex Márquez started from the front row to the race.
Takaaki Nakagami, Thomas Lüthi and Dominique Aegerter were in the second row. In the row number three there were Miguel Oliveira, Xavier Simeon and Sandro Cortese.
There were some changes in the entry list. Remy Gardner broke his leg in a crash in Argentina so Julián Simón replaced him in the Tech 3 team. Brad Binder had to underwent another surgery to his arm and it was Ricky Cardus who replaced him at the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.
Before the Sunday’s warm up Iker Lecuona announced his withdrawal from the race weekend. He had injured during the tests before the season and the Americas GP was his first try. But it wasn’t ideal so he decided not to continue and fully prepare for his home GP in two weeks.
Before the race also Danny Kent did announce he would withdraw from the race. As the reason he said he had some problems with his back. But later, after the race, he revealed he decided to split with his Kiefer Racing team. Well, quite surprising and shocking news. Hopefully the British rider will get a new ride somewhere soon.
When the red lights switched off there were already a couple of incidents. Right after the start Stefano Manzi didn’t brake into the turn, he ran wide and collided into Julián Simón. Later there was a collision between Lorenzo Baldassarri and Yonny Hernández. Also Jesko Raffin was somehow involved in that incident.
It was Franco Morbidelli who went into the lead but later his team mate and Sunday’s birthday boy Alex Márquez overtook him.
Pasini was 3rd, Lüthi 4th, Nakagami 5th. But they were switching their positions. Later also it was really close between Nakagami and Pasini. But luckily nothing bad happen. But later Pasini crashed which was a real shame for him. He was able to re-join the race but was going 22nd.
Meanwhile, Franco Morbidelli went into the lead and Márquez was a bit wide later. Morbidelli even did new circuit record by going 2:09.948! He increased his lead to more than 1 second ahead of Lüthi and Márquez. Lüthi was going 2nd, Márquez 3rd and Nakagami was 4th close to these two.
But Lüthi tried to escape to his two rivals and he was closing on Morbidelli. It was suddenly only about 0.6 between them. But Morbidelli started to push more and increased his lead to one second again.
Meanwhile, Nakagami tried to overtake Márquez for P3 but ran wide. Later he tried it once again, he managed it to go ahead of the Spaniard but Márquez overtook him back. But then Nakagami went to 3rd place again.
With 2 laps to go Morbidelli had already almost 2 seconds gap in the lead. And he didn’t let anyone else to steal his 3rd career victory and also his 3rd victory in the season. It was a hat-trick! He has been unbeatable this year so far. He has won all 3 races! That is pretty impressive.
Thomas Lüthi finished second and Takaaki Nakagami was third.
Alex Márquez was 4th but for him it was important to finish after his crash in Argentina. So he took some good important points. Dominique Aegerter was on solid 5th place, Miguel Oliveira 6th so it was another good race for KTM. Simone Corsi was 7th, Marcel Schrötter 8th, Xavi Vierge 9th (another top 10 for him), Luca Marini 10th.
Hafizh Syahrin finished on 11th place, Fabio Quartararo (the best rookie) was 12th, Xavier Simeon 13th, Ricky Cardus 14th and Jorge Navarro 15th. Here are the full race results.
As Franco Morbidelli is unbeatable he has the maximum amount of 75 points in the Championship standing. Thomas Lüthi is 2nd with 56 points, Miguel Oliveira 3rd with 43 points. Here you can see how the current standing look like.
Now all is coming to Europe. From May until the middle of October there will be races only in this continent. The next race weekend is scheduled from 5th to 7th May in Jerez, Spain.