Updated Results Below:
Tito Rabat held off a slipstreaming Takaaka Nakagami to win the first Moto2 race of the 2014 season at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Pole-sitter Rabat won by only four-hundredths of a second, roughly a bike length at the Sunday evening event. Nakagami (2nd) led much of the race but was passed by Rabat with seven laps to go. Mike Kallio rode home in a steady third while nursing severe back bruising from a serious crash during Saturday's qualifying.
Rabat's win and teammate Kallio's third gave the Marc VDS Racing Team a strong start to the new season.
Thomas Luthi took fourth over last year's Moto3 champion and fifth-place finisher, Maverick Vinales.
Initially, Nakagami raced out front and began opening a slight gap as the rest of the field fought for position in the first handful of laps. But with nine laps remaining, Rabat began closing in. Two laps later, Rabat drafted past Nakagami on the circuit's long front straight and held on through the first corner and beyond. However, Nakagami stayed close with Kallio right on his heels.
On the final lap, Nakagami put considerable pressure on the race leader and the pair opened a slight gap on Kallio. After the final corner, the Japanese rider attempted to make the same slipstream passing move while racing to the finish line. But Rabat managed to hold on to win by a bike-length. Kallio, who didn't keep pace on the hectic final lap, finished third.
~~~ UPDATE ~~~
After the race was over, Nakagami's Kalex Honda was found to have been fitted with an illegal air filter. Nakagami was disqualified, and everybody moved up one position. This means Mika Kallio is awarded 2nd position, and Tom Luthi awarded 3rd.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time / Diff.|
|5||3||Simone CORSI||Forward KLX||5.830|
|6||22||Sam LOWES||Speed Up||14.170|
|9||95||Anthony WEST||Speed Up||25.322|
|12||88||Ricard CARDUS||Tech 3||26.914|
|17||54||Mattia PASINI||Forward KLX||44.030|
|19||97||Roman RAMOS||Speed Up||53.563|
|23||5||Johann ZARCO||Caterham Suter||+1'52.348|
|25||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||Kalex||1 Lap|
|30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||Kalex||0 Lap|
|7||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI||Suter||1 Lap|
|77||Dominique AEGERTER||Suter||5 Laps|
|18||Nicolas TEROL||Suter||5 Laps|
|23||Marcel SCHROTTER||Tech 3||9 Laps|
|49||Axel PONS||Kalex||9 Laps|
|98||Mashel AL NAIMI||Speed Up||16 Laps|
|8||Gino REA||Suter||18 Laps|
|15||Alex DE ANGELIS||Suter||0 Lap|
|2||Josh HERRIN||Caterham Suter||0 Lap|