2017 Austin MotoGP Moto2 Race Result: A Clean Sweep

Franco Morbidelli won his third race of the year -- a clean sweep of the season so far -- at the Circuit of the Americas track Sunday after a mid-race battle saw Alex Marquez run wide and leave the championship points leader with no steady challenger for the rest of the contest. 

Morbidelli's victory further cements his early-season dominance; He's not only won each race but also led nearly every lap of 2017. Thomas Luthi ended what had been a weekend of struggle for the Swiss rider with a second place, two-seconds off the leader's time. Takaaki Nakagami took third to complete a podium identical to the one at season's first contest in Qatar.

Alex Marquez, who was fast in each practice and seemed likely to challenge Mobidelli's win streak, finished in fourth after fading from a early battle with the eventual winner. Dominique Aegerter had his best finish of the year in fifth, three seconds clear of Miguel Oliveira (6th). Simone Corsi continued his improving form for the year in seventh, just pipping Marcel Schrotter (8th). 

Xavi Vierge (9th) and Luca Marini (10th) completed the top 10.

The race began similar to every other race this season: With Morbidelli sweeping into the lead immediately. As the pack fought for position, Stephano Manzi torpedoed Julian Simon taking both riders out of the contest.

But Morbidelli didn't simply check out. He first had to contend with a fast Mattia Pasini and an aggressive Marquez. Pasini struck first, passing Morbidelli in the middle of the first lap. But by the lap's end, Morbidelli had regained the top spot. Then it was Marquez's turn with 17 laps remaining. 

Using a slipstream, he sliced past Morbidelli to take the lead. But one lap later, Marquez ran wide at Turn 15 while under pressure from the points leader. Morbidelli again regained the lead. And this time, it would be for good. Pasini and a charging Luthi also slipped by Marquez. 

With 15 laps remaining, Luthi took second from Pasini. Two laps later, Pasini crashed at Turn 1, perpetuating a dismal year for the Italian rider whose best best finish of the year is 20th. With nine laps to go, Luthi began to slightly close on the race leader who was nursing a one-second gap at this point.

But Luthi could get no closer than that and eventually tied his best finish of the year with a second place.

Result:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex 41'20.078
2 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +2.633
3 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex +6.809
4 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +9.852
5 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter +10.927
6 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +13.029
7 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up +13.335
8 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Suter +13.754
9 97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 +18.079
10 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +21.418
11 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex +21.430
12 40 Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex +21.736
13 19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex +21.974
14 88 Ricard CARDUS KTM +24.245
15 9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex +24.863
16 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex +28.226
17 32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex +28.443
18 49 Axel PONS Kalex +34.767
19 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +37.279
20 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +37.530
21 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex +38.953
22 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +43.720
23 11 Sandro CORTESE Suter +51.515
24 47 Axel BASSANI Speed Up +1'07.841
25 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +1'08.137
    Not Classified    
  57 Edgar PONS Kalex 17 Laps
  7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 0 Lap
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Kalex 0 Lap
  60 Julian SIMON Tech 3 0 Lap
  62 Stefano MANZI Kalex 0 Lap

 

Round Number: 
3
2017
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Comments

I gotta feel for Alex Marquez, when so much is expected of you because of the success of your brother, at least he finished this time.  Anybody remember Chuck and Ken Springsteen?