2017 Valencia Moto2 Race Result: A 2018 Season Preview

The beautiful weather was rewarded with a beautiful race which saw Miguel Oliveira snatch his third consecutive win for KTM. The Portuguese rider denied Franco Morbidelli the record for most wins in the class but the world champion added another podium to his record this year. Adding to KTM’s joy was Brad Binder, who scored another third place to finish his season on a high.

For much of the race it looked like a done deal for Morbidelli, who shot into the lead in turn one. Poleman Marquez swept straight back in a sequence of corners causing palpitations to the Marc VDS garage but the Spaniard was no match for his teammate in the end. Behind the teammates, the rivals held station, with Mattia Pasini and Oliveira in close pursuit and only Binder and Dominique Aegerter switching places occasionally.

Teammates they may be but no love was lost on track as the Marc VDS duo swapped paint for the next lap, Morbidelli taking over on lap two while Pasini was getting in on the action as well. The world champion was attempting to check out at the front as Marquez had Pasini getting in his way. The gap got to eight tenths of a second when Pasini crashed out of third position on lap four, giving Marquez a bit of a breather before Oliveira picked up the mission of breaking the Marc VDS monopoly.

By lap seven, Morbidelli was posting fastest laps while his lead went over the one and a half seconds mark. Meanwhile, Oliveira was keen to get past Marquez as not to lose touch with the leader but despite being close enough to touch the Spaniard, the KTM rider could not find the way through until lap ten.

Brad Binder was posting consistent laps a second behind the podium battle but the South African recorded several red and orange sectors to swiftly catch up with Marquez, who appeared to struggle already to keep up the pace. Binder stole the final podium position after nudging the Spaniard out of the way on lap twelve. Although not even halfway through the race, it looked like a battle for survival for Marquez, who was left to manage a four-second gap to Pecco Bagnaia behind him.

The midway point of the race saw Oliveira attempting to steadily catch up with the world champion but the gap was slow to drop under the one and a half second mark. Nonetheless, both KTMs looked determined, with red hot sector times shared between them. Morbidelli replied with his own fast laps but Oliveira finally got within a second of the leader with nine laps to go. Two seconds behind was Binder, whose third place looked secure, the gap to Marquez over three seconds.

One lap later, Oliveira brought the gap down to four tenths of a second and the Jaws music started with seven laps remaining. The Portuguese rider stalked Morbidelli for one more lap and attacked for the victory, attempting to build a small gap. Oliveira quickly stretched his advantage to half a second and Morbidelli had to admit defeat, letting the KTM go.

Binder was still setting red sectors with three laps to go but was stuck in no man’s land. No such luck for Marquez, who dropped onto Bagnaia’s radar and got overtaken for fourth on the penultimate lap. Marquez settled for fifth, with a consistent Hafizh Syahrin scoring sixth position. Takaaki Nakagami was seventh, another four seconds behind, with Fabio Quartararo, Simone Corsi and Aegerter ending the season on a high with a top ten.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 43'15.843
2 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex +2.154
3 41 Brad BINDER KTM +4.181
4 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex +11.181
5 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +12.146
6 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex +14.595
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex +18.446
8 40 Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex +22.188
9 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up +23.592
10 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter +23.751
11 49 Axel PONS Kalex +27.388
12 32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex +29.688
13 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Suter +31.442
14 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ Speed Up +32.933
15 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +33.150
16 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +34.335
17 51 Eric GRANADO Kalex +34.731
18 27 Iker LECUONA Kalex +39.828
19 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +39.940
20 57 Edgar PONS Kalex +42.678
21 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex +43.275
22 87 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 +51.990
23 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +54.931
24 6 Tarran MACKENZIE Suter +1'09.494
25 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +1'10.070
26 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +1'33.876
    Not Classified    
  97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 11 Laps
  9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 16 Laps
  11 Sandro CORTESE Suter 19 Laps
  19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex 20 Laps
  88 Ricard CARDUS Kalex 21 Laps
  62 Stefano MANZI Kalex 25 Laps

 

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Round Number: 
18
2017
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Total votes: 7

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Comments

Watch this space. Miguel Oliviera was described by his team mate Brad Binder as 'a machine'. I enjoyed this race. Franky as reigning Champion did a superb job. Hats off ro KTM, what a season. Biggest movers up the title ladder 2nd half have been the KTM boys...trellis et al. 765cc tripple come 2019. Hell Maybe Ducati need to look at a chassis entry in this class...afterall the last time they won a GP title was with a trellis and speaking Ducati, they need to run a 250 Desmo trellis in Moto3 or KTM are going to blitz them as top European manufacturer of performance bikes shortly as Mercedes have done with Ferrari in that 4 wheel sport.

Total votes: 14

has really upped the game for next year. We shall wait how Lowes and Barberá fare in tests (if that could prove to be a benchmark for next season). I just hope KTM moves in the right direction unlike in 2015 in Moto3 where they went a bit backwards until the new chassis was introduced. As I see it now, the main title contenders for next year are:

  • Miguel Oliveira (has been in a masteclass of his own for the last three races and fairly consistent throughout the season)
  • Brad Binder (lost rookie of the season to Bagnaia but found more speed than the latter since Australia)
  • Francesco Bagnaia (rookie of the year, very aggressive rider)
  • Alex Márquez (now or never season)
  • Sam Lowes (should go well on the KTM)
  • Hector Barberá (a proven rider and in one of the best teams in Moto2 paddock)
  • Mattia Pasini (if he can stay consistent is a real threat)
Total votes: 9

I agree that Oliveira and Binder will be the clear favourites for the Moto2 title in 2018. Red Bull KTM Ajo is rapidly improving race by race and both Oliveira and Binder are two of the hottest young talents not yet in Motogp. Binder missed alot of race's due to his wrist injury and it was only his first season in Moto2, fully fit next year i expect him to be much closer to Oliveira them both fighting for the title. Only person you missed out on the list and the only person i can see stopping them from winning the Moto2 championship is Johan Mir. He is another special rider, i can see him beating Alex Marquez and challenging Binder, Oliveira for the title.

Total votes: 0