Magical Marquez masters Mugello

by Ryan Lilly

Alex Marquez has taken his second victory on the bounce, dominating the Moto2 race around the famous Mugello Circuit in Tuscany. Marquez, who is now second in the overall standings, finished a distant 1.928s ahead of Luca Marini, who returns to the podium for the first time since his win in Sepang, whilst Tom Luthi held on to third.

It was Marcel Schrotter who started from pole position for the third time this year, but it was his teammate Luthi who took the holeshot into turn one, with Schrotter and Marquez slotting in behind.

There was drama, however, on the opening lap when Xavi Vierge tagged the rear of Tetsuta Nagashima causing a domino effect through the midpack. That forced Fabio Di Giannantionio to sit up, tagging Iker Lecuona who crashed out of the race.

Throughout the opening three laps, the Dynavolt pair started to pull away from the pack but, on lap 4, Schrotter used the slipstream and tried the move around the outside of his Moto2 returnee teammate, but Luthi hung on to the lead.

Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Alex Marquez closed the gap down to the leading duo, also bringing Luca Marini, on the Italian coloured Sky VR46 Kalex, and Jorge Navarro with him. On lap 6, Marquez tucked into the slipstream of the German and made an easy pass for second place. He was quickly followed by Marini, who moved up into the podium positions. Schrotter re-passed Marini into turn four but couldn’t hang on to third position for much longer, after Marini’s dive up the inside on the change of direction at the Casanova and Savelli chicane.

Lap 8 saw two Italians crash out of the race, with the newly developed MV Agusta of Stefano Manzi crashing out at Arrabbiata 1, and Nicolo Bulega crashing out at the final corner. Simone Corsi then joined the pair in the gravel trap, crashing out at San Donato on lap 9.

At the front, Alex Marquez made the pass on Luthi for the lead and opened up a 0.528s gap over the Swiss rider as they hit the midway point of the race.

Poleman Marcel Schrotter found himself in a scrap for fourth position with Lorenzo Baldassarri also involved, who managed to squeeze his way past the German and up into fifth position.

On his second race back, Jake Dixon’s Italian Grand Prix was another one to forget, crashing out on lap 12.

Back at the front, the tension was building for second position with Luthi just hanging on over Marini, who was still hunting his first podium of the season. Marini made the move for second at Savelli, once again using the corner speed through Casanova to launch it up the inside of Luthi on the change of direction.

With Marini extending the lead over Luthi, the Swiss rider was now under pressure from Jorge Navarro and Lorenzo Baldassarri. Navarro outbroke himself into turn one allowing Baldassarri to take fourth position and a front row seat for third.

Photo Credit: MotoGP.Com

Schrotter’s day got even worse when Enea Bastianini made his way up the inside of the Dynavolt machine and started the attack on Augusto Fernandez and Jorge Navarro, who had been fighting for second two weeks ago in Le Mans. Bastianini dove up the inside, passing both Fernandez and Navarro, who ran wide at turn 1 gifting Fernandez a free position. With Bastianini up into fifth position, he had Fernandez all over the rear wheel for the final half of the lap. Fernandez made the pass at the final corner to pinch fifth from Bastianini making it a fourth and fifth place finish for the Pons HP40 team.

Marquez crossed the line for his second win on the bounce ahead of Marini and Luthi whilst championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri finished fourth ahead of Fernandez and Bastianini. Navarro came home in seventh ahead of pole-sitter Marcel Schrotter and Sam Lowes got himself some more points on the board after a horrid French Grand Prix two weeks ago. Di Giannantonio fought back through the pack for tenth place ahead of Pasini, Vierge, Gardner, Nagashima and the final points finisher Brad Binder.

Alex Marquez now sits two points off Lorenzo Baldassarri with Tom Luthi a further two points from the Spaniard. Moto2 will be back out on track in two weeks time at Catalunya, a track where many teams and riders have recently tested at.

Join us for round seven of the MotoGP championship here at The Checkered Flag with practice action commencing on 14th June.

For Moto2 results click here. For the current championship standings, click here

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