Luthi Takes Comfortable Victory at Le Mans

by Louis Suddaby

Thomas Luthi dashed any hopes of a home win for Johann Zarco with a superbly judged victory at Le Mans. The Swiss rider overtook the home favourite early in proceedings and controlled the race from that point onwards, keeping his rivals at arm’s length while they fought over the remaining podium spots.

With Zarco starting from the outside of the front row, the capacity crowd had every reason to feel a home victory was possible and their hopes were boosted at the start as Zarco outdragged Sam Lowes on the run towards the Dunlop chicane. Polesitter Alex Rins was swallowed up after appearing to react slowly to the lights changing while Tito Rabat slotted into fourth behind Luthi.

Luthi, a former winner here in the intermediate class, looked dangerous right from the off and under braking for Dunlop on lap two, the Interwetten rider eased past Lowes into second. Given his impressive pace all season, Zarco was expected to put up a much stronger defence but just two laps later, the Ajo rider succumbed in similar circumstances with Luthi taking a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Zarco’s attention soon turned to safeguarding second but Rabat’s practice running was starting to pay dividends in the closing stages as his Marc VDS Kalex protected it’s tyres, allowing him to snatch P2 at Dunlop on lap 19. Johann had no answer to the defending champion and despite fading in the last couple of laps, he held off a fast-closing Lowes to claim the final podium position.

After his disastrous start, Rins looked on course to salvage fifth but a crash at Dunlop three laps from home dropped him out of the points altogether. Franco Morbidelli took advantage to finish fifth, the fourth time in five races he has ended up in that position, although the Italian was lucky to see the chequered flag himself after being tailgated by Rins’ teammate Luis Salom.

Julian Simon and Takaaki Nakagami claimed season’s best results in sixth and seventh with Xavier Simeon, Hafizh Syahrin and Dominique Aegerter rounding out the top ten but Jonas Folger’s inconsistent campaign continued, the German following up his Jerez win with a crash at Le Mans.



112. Thomas LuthiKalexDerendinger Racing Interwetten42:27.011
21. Tito RabatKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS+1.767
35. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport+3.760
422. Sam LowesSpeed UpSpeed Up Racing+4.076
521. Franco MorbidelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team+14.492
660. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team+14.681
730. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia+14.845
819. Xavier SimeonKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto2+15.135
955. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia+19.243
1077. Dominique AegerterKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten+19.531
1195. Anthony WestSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team+29.478
124. Randy KrummenacherKalexJIR Moto2+29.646
1323. Marcel SchrotterTech 3Tech 3+30.220
1411. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP+30.691
1549. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team+33.097
1688. Ricard CardusTech 3Tech 3+33.604
1740. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+38.293
183. Simone CorsiKalexForward Racing+39.001
1925. Azlan ShahKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia+43.459
2070. Robin MulhauserKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten+57.742
217. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Racing+1:09.399
2210. Thitipong WarokornKalexAPH PTT The Pizza SAG+1:17.247
2366. Florian AltSuterOcto IodaRacing Team+1:17.646
242. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG+1:17.837
2551. Zaqhwan ZaidiSuterJPM Malaysia+1:33.192
2620. Louis BulleTransfiormersPromoto Sport+1 Lap
NC39. Luis SalomKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+2 Laps
NC36. Mika KallioKalexItaltrans Racing Team+14 Laps
NC94. Jonas FolgerKalexAGR Team+17 Laps
NC73. Alex MarquezKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS+22 Laps
NC96. Louis RossiTech 3Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2+22 Laps

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