Johann Zarco made a terrific recovery from a difficult opening lap to take victory in the Catalunya Grand Prix, snatching it on the very last lap. The Frenchman denied Tito Rabat in a dramatic finish with the defending champion falling to third behind Alex Rins after an error four corners from home.
Zarco had looked in a class of his own during qualifying but his chances of converting pole position into victory looked slim after a poor start. Rabat won the drag race to turn one but Sam Lowes was the bravest on the brakes, diving through into second. In the process, the Briton squeezed Dominique Aegerter into Zarco’s Kalex and championship leader had fallen to sixth.
After a brief spell in the lead, Lowes was shuffled back to third by Rabat and the rapid Rins who had made superb progress from the third row. Zarco had his hands full with the second Paginas Amarillas Kalex of Luis Salom but on lap eight, he finally climbed to fifth with a dive up the inside of turn five.
With Lowes struggling to last the pace at the front, the Speed Up soon fell into the clutches of Zarco and on lap fourteen, third spot changed hands on the pit straight. Up ahead, Rins and Rabat were also swapping places as they disputed the lead but Zarco had now been released, and the leading duo would become a trio in time for a thrilling finale.
On the penultimate lap, Zarco finally got on terms with Rins and swept through into turn four and halfway around the last lap, Rabat was ambushed by another outstanding overtaking manoeuvre at turn five. The defending champion was clearly wrong-footed by the move and outbraked himself while trying to fight back at turn ten, handing second on a plate to Rins.
Lowes fell four seconds behind but held onto a solid fourth with Salom keeping Thomas Luthi at bay to finish fifth. Jonas Folger never recovered from a trip through the escape road at the start, eventually trailing home in seventh, while Franco Morbidelli, Dominique Aegerter and Lorenzo Baldassarri completed the top ten.
MOTO2 G.P. MONSTER ENERGY DE CATALUNYA – RACE RESULT (23 LAPS)
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