Estrella Galicia’s Franco Morbidelli made it two Moto2 wins from two attempts at the Argentine MotGP round as team-mate Alex Marquez crashed out of a close second place on the final lap as he tried to take his maiden win in the class.
Morbidelli and Marquez had Miguel Oliviera for company for a good portion of the race and as Marquez began to pressure Morbidelli, Red Bull KTM’s Oliveria closed in and he was gifted second place when Marquez was spat over the highside at turn seven and threw away a one-two for the squad. He re-mounted for 21st place.
“This is an amazing feeling, two victories in a row, just incredible and I hope I can keep this momentum going. I was pushing really hard from the start and very quickly I saw that Alex was going very fast close behind so I was ready for the fight,” said Morbidelli.
“With a lap to go I had + 0.3s and pushed even harder for the win and did not know Álex had crashed until I took the chequered flag. It was a pity his race ended like this.”
The crash was also a present for Swiss Tom Luthi who suffered with tyre wear and couldn’t match the front-runners’ pace but he ended in third place to add to his record podium tally in the class.
After a brief place swap into turn one with Oliveira, Morbidelli took control with Marquez in his wake alongside Luthi as the Portugese recovered to fourth after the Italian’s swipe.
It didn’t take long for the EG0,0 teamsters to pull a gap and after one lap, they were a second ahead of Oliveira as Luthi tried to keep on his rear wheel. It didn’t take him long to break the Swiss, though, and he set off after the Marc VDS boys as Marquez pinged in a fastest lap of 1’43.516.
Morbidelli was having none of it and got his hammer down to open a quarter of a second gap over Marquez as Oliveira set the fastest lap of the race - a 1’43.414 with 13 left to run. Marquez got the gap back to half a second and there it remained until there were only five laps to go.
As Marquez was taking fractions out of Morbidelli, Oliveira was taking tenths out of the pair but used up his rear too fast and began to drop back as Marquez sized up a move at turn five. The pass lasted half a corner as he ran a little wide and Morbidelli snapped straight back.
The pair were separated by fractions of a second for the remaining laps but just too much throttle saw Marquez pinged into the air leaving Morbidelli a clear run to the line with a 1.683s advantage over the Portugese. Luthi had a lonely ride for third in the end with nine second of air in front and five behind to Lorenzo Baldassarri.
Xavi Vierge took sixth ahead of Simone Corsi, Francesco Bagnaia and Sandro Cortese. Reigning Moto3 champ Brad Binder - who discovered this morning that the plate in his arm is moving around - bagged ninth with Hafizh Syahrin completing the top ten.
Britain’s Danny Kent crashed out of 15th at turn seven with nine left while Fabio Quatararo will have some explaining to do to team pons Sito Pons after nerfing his oldest son Axel out of the race. Takaaki Nakagami took out Remy Gardner at the first corner.