2019 Austin Moto2 Race Result: A Return To Familiar Territory

Thomas Luthi, who last year endured a miserable season in MotoGP, returned to his Moto2 winning ways Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas track near Austin, Texas. Luthi's dominant win put him third in the championship, just two points behind Dynavolt teammate Marcel Schrotter who finished the race in second.

Jorge Navarro worked his way through the pack to take the final podium spot. But to take that third, Navarro had to hold off Moto2's biggest surprise of the weekend: Mattia Pasini. The veteran rider, who retired this year when a ride was not forthcoming, had expected to attend the race only as a commentator for Italian television.

But he jumped at the chance to be a fill-in replacement in Texas for the injured Agusto Fernandez. Pasini had not raced this year and had never ridden the new, Triumph-powered Moto2 bikes.  It didn't seem to matter much. He qualified the unfamilar bike in seventh and managed some of the field's fastest race laps to take fourth.   

Alex Marquez, who led the race early on, faded to fifth. Behind him Luca Marini took sixth in front of Sam Lowes (7th). Simone Corsi spent much of the race in eighth and finished there. Enea Bastianini (9th) and Andrea Locatelli rounded out the top 10. Lorenzo Baldassarri crashed early in the contest but remains in the championship lead by three points after winning the season's first two races. 

The Race

Schrotter led into uphill Turn 1 but ran wide. Both Marquez and Luthi slipped through. The top three remained at the front for the early part of the race and with 14 laps to go, Lowes, Navarro, Marini, Corsi and Pasini chased in the following pack. Marquez managed to gap the field by half a second as the riders began to string out in COTA fashion. 

Luthi upped his pace and locked onto Marquez's tail with 12 laps left. One lap later, Luthi showed his hand and passed Marquez at Turn 1. Marquez retaliated at Turn 4 to retake the lead. But at Turn 12 following the long backstraight, Luthi made the pass stick for good and began to open a gap.  Schrotter began to close on Marquez. 

Back in the pack, Pasini began moving through, turning lap times faster than the race leaders. With nine laps to go, Luthi opened a one-second gap to Marquez who was locked in a battle with Schrotter. Schrotter passed Marquez at 12 then Marquez passed him back immediately bumping the German rider in the process. But by the line, Schrotter seized second for good.

Two laps later, Luthi cleared off the front with nearly a three-second gap. With four laps remaining, Navarro passsed Marquez at Turn 11. Marini briefly took third from Navarro but lost it back to the eventual third-place finisher. 

Result:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 39'11.508
2 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +2.532
3 9 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +3.836
4 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +4.757
5 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +7.741
6 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +8.031
7 22 Sam LOWES Kalex +8.282
8 24 Simone CORSI Kalex +8.953
9 33 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +10.706
10 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +16.868
11 87 Remy GARDNER Kalex +25.633
12 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +25.948
13 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +26.997
14 77 Dominique AEGERTER MV Agusta +27.462
15 88 Jorge MARTIN KTM +27.482
16 2 Jesko RAFFIN NTS +39.435
17 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +49.582
18 65 Philipp OETTL KTM +51.247
19 3 Lukas TULOVIC KTM +51.380
20 35 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +53.778
21 6 Gabriele RUIU MV Agusta +1'19.156
22 20 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA Kalex +1'19.286
    Not Classified    
  27 Iker LECUONA KTM 5 Laps
  72 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 6 Laps
  18 Xavi CARDELUS KTM 12 Laps
  41 Brad BINDER KTM 16 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 0 Lap
  7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 0 Lap
  97 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 0 Lap
  16 Joe ROBERTS KTM 0 Lap
Round Number: 
3
2019
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Total votes: 8

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