Luthi Wins in Qatar after Jump Start Fiasco

by Louis Suddaby

Thomas Luthi claimed victory in a farcical Qatar Grand Prix which was overshadowed by a flurry of jump starts and confusion over penalties. The Swiss rider fought a race-long battle with Franco Morbidelli who was one of the riders to jump the start but with the Italian’s penalty only announced a lap before the finish, confusion reigned as the two swapped places on track.

The problems appeared to be triggered by an unusually long hold with the red lights kept on for over three seconds before being extinguished. Of the front six riders, only polesitter Jonas Folger remained still until the lights changed, with Sam Lowes, Alex Rins, Johann Zarco, Morbidelli and Sandro Cortese all appearing to move.

Strangely, only Rins, Lowes and Zarco were handed penalties among the leading pack with Morbidelli and Cortese appearing to escape sanction. As a result, Folger led from Luthi and Morbidelli with Cortese involved in a scrap with Simone Corsi for fourth spot. Any hope of back-to-back Qatar GP wins would disappear in heartbreaking fashion for Folger though who crashed out on lap three, surrendering an unchallenged lead.

Luthi and Morbidelli subsequently took over leadership of the race but with one lap to go, the fight for victory was ended in farcical circumstances with race direction handing the Marc VDS rider a 20 second penalty for his own jump start. Franco was unaware, and crossed the finish line just 0.047s behind Luthi, but in real-time he had been relegated to seventh.

With Cortese also taken out of play, his penalty dropping him to fifteenth, Corsi looked set for second but a fast-closing Luis Salom denied him on the last lap. The Speed Up man had to settle for third with Hafizh Syahrin fourth ahead of Dominique Aegerter and Moto3 champion Danny Kent. Morbidelli was classified seventh while Rins and Lowes recovered from their penalties to take eighth and ninth respectively.


Moto2 Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar (Race Result)

112. Thomas LuthiKalexGarage Plus Interwetten40:14.29325
239. Luis SalomKalexSAG Team+9.61020
324. Simone CorsiSpeed UpSpeed Up+9.66516
455. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia+13.55813
577. Dominique AegerterKalexCarXpert Interwetten+16.06411
652. Danny KentKalexLeopard Racing+16.11410
721. Franco MorbidelliKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS+20.0479
840. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+20.1708
922. Sam LowesKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto2+22.0197
1010. Luca MariniKalexForward Team+24.2496
1144. Miguel OliveiraKalexLeopard Racing+24.2545
125. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport+24.5704
1314. Ratthapark WilairotKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia+25.6643
1430. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia+26.9922
1511. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP+29.7361
1654. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team+30.404
1723. Marcel SchrotterKalexAGR Team+38.446
182. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG+46.363
1932. Isaac VinalesTech 3Tech 3 Racing+46.543
2070. Robin MulhauserKalexCarXpert Interwetten+1:18.323
2133. Alessandro TonucciKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto2+1:25.002
228. Efren VazquezSuterJPMoto Malaysia+1:39.572
NC49. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team+4 Laps
NC97. Xavi ViergeTech 3Tech 3 Racing+5 Laps
NC19. Xavier SimeonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team+6 Laps
NC73. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS+14 Laps
NC94. Jonas FolgerKalexDynavolt Intact GP+18 Laps
NC60. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team+19 Laps
NC57. Edgar PonsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+19 Laps
NS7. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward TeamInjured

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