BALDA BOLTS TO FIRST ROUND WIN
Lorenzo Baldassari stormed to a stunning win in Moto2 after a last lap showdown with Thomas Luthi to take the top step in Qatar.
As the lights went out, it was Xavi Vierge who made the holeshot from the middle of the front row, yet it wasn’t as plain sailing behind. Nicolo Bulega, Jorge Navarro and Iker Lecuona went cartwheeling through turn one, as rookie, Marco Bezzecchi, slid out at the infamous turn 6.
By lap two, Baldassari powered his way past Vierge and ran the rest of the race virtually untouched until the last couple of laps. To the Marc VDS rider’s despair, Vierge slipped his way down the pack, from second to fifth within four corners on lap seven. Polesitter, Marcel Schrotter, along with Remy Gardner and Alex Marquez all took the opportunity with both hands and made their way up the pack, with Luthi setting his sights on joining the chasing racers.
The Swiss rider fought his way through the field, setting back-to-back lap records around the Losail International Circuit, eventually finding his way edging closer to “Balda” at the front. Luthi lined up Baldassari perfectly with just a few laps remaining and attempted to squeeze his way past and hold the line, but failed as Balda found his way back through. As the final corner approached, all members of both the FlexBox HP 40 and Dynavolt Intact teams held their breath as the two battled to the line, yet Baldassari remained victorious with a 0.026 second win.
Schrotter rounded out the top three, with Gardner and Augusto Fernandez completing the top five. Britain’s, Sam Lowes, beat Alex Marquez and Luca Marini, while rookie, Enea Bastianini came home in 9th.