In a sunny Valencia, another champion bowed out of the class he conquered with a trip to the top of the podium. Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli put on a show in the name of the intermediate class for the first part of the race, the Frenchman ending up in front with another dominating performance.
Despite getting a great start, Luthi couldn’t hold off Zarco, the Frenchman taking the lead and also keeping an aggressive Morbidelli at bay. The Italian came off worse in the battle, losing second place to Alex Rins. That finally seemed to give us the much anticipated battle that should have taken place much earlier in the championship, Zarco and Rins trading overtakes at the top, but that particular fight didn’t last long either.
As Morbidelli eventually split the duo, that allowed Luthi to rejoin the lead group and steal third position from Rins. By lap seven, Zarco and Morbidelli seemed to make it a two-horse race – albeit a very exciting one, the duo rubbing fairings at every possible occasion. The unstoppable battle brought Luthi and Rins back into contention although the non-stop action at the front left little room for them to try anything. Behind the lead group, Sam Lowes had over a second to recover if he were to join the fun.
With fifteen laps to go and with Morbidelli at the lead, the group seemed to have remembered that you are not supposed to have many overtaking opportunities around this track, the order settling a little until Zarco got away again, posting several fastest laps to stretch a significant gap to his Estrella Galicia rival. With six laps to go, the gap was almost a second, with Luthi a further second behind Morbidelli and getting pushed by Rins but never looking like a real threat.
On the last lap, Morbidelli paid the price for his early feistiness, Luthi making the overtake on the Italian look effortless and snatching second place away from him. Rins also suffered and that allowed Lowes to get ahead in the final turns, despite the Brit spending most of the race over a second behind the lead group.
Luthi’s second place consolidated his second position in the championship as well, Alex Rins only just holding on to third after the last lap shenanigans, one point ahead of Morbidelli.
|11||24||Simone CORSI||Speed Up||+20.455|
|12||97||Xavi VIERGE||Tech 3||+20.911|
|16||19||Xavier SIMEON||Speed Up||+26.328|
|23||60||Julian SIMON||Speed Up||+51.271|
|73||Alex MARQUEZ||Kalex||10 Laps|
|32||Isaac VIÑALES||Tech 3||17 Laps|
|42||Federico FULIGNI||Kalex||22 Laps|
|11||Sandro CORTESE||Kalex||23 Laps|
|49||Axel PONS||Kalex||23 Laps|
|16||Hugo CLERE||Transfiormers||23 Laps|