Bagnaia Beats Baldassarri for Maiden Moto2 Win

by Louis Suddaby

Francesco Bagnaia backed up his status with many as the pre-season championship favourite by winning the Moto2 season opener in Qatar. The Italian, widely tipped to win the title this season, held off Lorenzo Baldassarri in a tense finale to claim his maiden victory in the intermediate class.

Having claimed a dominant pole position, Alex Marquez began the race as the man to beat but Bagnaia immediately wrestled control of the race, outdragging the Spaniard into turn one. As the Sky VR46 rider set a consistent pace out front, Marquez fought over second with Baldassarri, a battle he seemed to be winning until an overheating rear brake caused him to overshoot turn four, dropping him five seconds adrift.

Marquez’s issues looked to have cleared the path for Bagnaia’s first Moto2 win but a late burst from Baldassarri brought him right back into contention on the last lap. The Pons rider dived up the inside of his compatriot two corners from home but Francesco reacted superbly, ducking back underneath the no.7 to secure victory by a tenth of a second.

Despite his brake problems, Marquez held onto third ahead of the fast-closing Mattia Pasini while Red Bull KTM duo Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder finished fifth and sixth, the former paying the price for overshooting turn one at the start. Dynavolt team-mates Marcel Schrotter and Xavi Vierge were seventh and eighth respectively while Luca Marini and Jorge Navarro completed the top ten, just ahead of Moto3 champion and leading rookie Joan Mir.


Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar: Race Result

142. Francesco BagnaiaKalexSky Racing Team VR4640:19.80225
27. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexPons HP40+0.11220
373. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS+5.62516
454. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team+6.65713
544. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+10.29611
641. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+10.34410
723. Marcel SchrotterKalexDynavolt Intact GP+11.4199
897. Xavi ViergeKalexDynavolt Intact GP+11.5168
910. Luca MariniKalexSky Racing Team VR46+20.6907
109. Jorge NavarroKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto2+20.9616
1136. Joan MirKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS+23.0255
1287. Remy GardnerTech 3Tech 3 Racing+30.2924
1340. Hector BarberaKalexPons HP40+30.2993
1424. Simone CorsiKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto2+30.7322
1577. Dominique AegerterKTMKiefer Racing+30.8701
1632. Isaac VinalesKalexSAG Team+31.052
1752. Danny KentSpeed UpBeta Tools - Speed Up Racing+31.958
1864. Bo BendsneyderTech 3Tech 3 Racing+32.382
195. Andrea LocatelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team+35.228
2020. Fabio QuartararoSpeed UpBeta Tools - Speed Up Racing+35.357
2145. Tetsuta NagashimaKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia+35.969
224. Steven OdendaalNTSNTS RW Racing GP+42.545
2389. Khairul Idham PawiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia+42.776
2413. Romano FenatiKalexMarinelli Snipers Team+44.562
2516. Joe RobertsNTSNTS RW Racing GP+56.077
2662. Stefano ManziSuterForward Racing Team+1:01.581
2795. Jules DaniloKalexNashi Argan SAG Team+1:01.853
2863. Zulfahmi KhairuddinKalexSIC Racing Team+1:11.618
2921. Federico FuligniKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto2+1:20.148
3051. Eric GranadoSuterForward Racing Team+1:26.192
NC22. Sam LowesKTMSwiss Innovative Investors+10 Laps
NC27. Iker LecuonaKTMSwiss Innovative Investors+13 Laps

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