Johann Zarco signed off in the intermediate class with another superb victory in his final Moto2 appearance at Valencia. The two-time champion proved too strong for Franco Morbidelli after an explosive mid-race battle while Thomas Luthi deprived the Italian of second place on the final lap, ensuring he will end the year as championship runner-up.
The battle for second in the championship was the main issue to be decided in the season finale and Alex Rins made an early bid, grabbing the lead on lap three. The Spaniard was soon shuffled to the back of the leading quartet as Zarco, Morbidelli and Luthi got up to speed, setting the stage for the frenetic fight out front.
Morbidelli lit the blue touch paper with a dive up the inside of Zarco on lap ten, passing into turn two, but the champion responded immediately at the next corner, before countering a second move later in the lap to retain the lead. The Italian finally muscled the Ajo rider aside on lap twelve but Zarco had chosen to take a more patient approach and when Johann upped the pace again on lap sixteen, Franco had nothing by way of reply this time.
Zarco duly eased away to his seventh win of 2016 but Morbidelli lost his grip on second place agonisingly close to the finish as his tyres cried enough. With three corners remaining, Luthi cruised past to rubberstamp his runner-up status in the championship. Rins also lost ground on the final lap with Sam Lowes depriving him of fourth within sight of the flag.
Takaaki Nakagami finished a lonely sixth ahead of Mattia Pasini and Jonas Folger while Danny Kent produced his best showing since the season opener in Qatar to take ninth ahead of Marcel Schrotter.
Moto2 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana (Race Result)
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||43:17.626||25|
|2||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||+3.281||20|
|3||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+4.981||16|
|4||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||+5.636||13|
|5||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||+5.850||11|
|6||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||+11.605||10|
|7||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+16.391||9|
|8||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+16.964||8|
|9||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||+17.451||7|
|10||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||+17.668||6|
|11||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||+20.455||5|
|12||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+20.911||4|
|13||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||+21.650||3|
|14||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||+22.581||2|
|15||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||+23.734||1|
|16||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||+26.328|
|17||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||+29.421|
|18||87. Remy Gardner||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||+29.667|
|19||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||+29.749|
|20||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||+39.289|
|21||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||+43.105|
|22||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||+43.532|
|23||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||+51.271|
|24||27. Iker Lecuona||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||+56.617|
|NC||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+10 Laps|
|NC||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+17 Laps|
|NC||42. Federico Fuligni||Kalex||Team Ciatti||+22 Laps|
|NC||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+23 Laps|
|NC||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||+23 Laps|
|NC||16. Hugo Clere||Transfiormers||Promoto Sport||+23 Laps|