2019 Barcelona Moto2 Race Result: Third Time Lucky But It's No Luck

After the headache of trying to make sense of a lightweight class race, Moto2 was more like a pleasant palette cleanser – but that’s not to say there was not enough suspense to keep you glued to the screen anyway. After a drawn out battle for the lead, Alex Marquez got his hat-trick of consecutive victories, avenging Jerez with a victory on home ground in Montmeló. It was another display of domination usually reserved for big brother Marc but Alex had not one wobble on his way to victory and snatched the lead in the title battle. Tom Luthi had to admit defeat and defended second from a hard charging Jorge Navarro.

Luthi had looked like the favourite at the start, firing off the line like rocket to lead the way from poleman Augusto Fernandez and fellow front row starter Sam Lowes into turn one. Remy Gardner was one of the early (but unhurt) casualties of the race, while Marquez was lucky to escape the nudges of turn one and was looking for a way past the rookie duo of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Enea Bastianini. By the time Marquez got to the front of the chasing pack and picked up Lowes in the process, Luthi and Fernandez had over a second’s advantage after only three laps.

By the end of lap four, Fernandez wanted a taste at the lead and picked up Luthi but the Spaniard’s sightseeing only lasted one lap before the Swiss veteran resumed the lead. All these shenanigans allowed Marquez to bridge the gap, with Di Giannantonio pushing hard to keep in touch with the leaders. An average weekend quickly turned bad for Lorenzo Baldassarri, the pre-race championship leader down at turn ten after little over a handful of laps.

By lap ten, Luthi had Marquez on his back, with Fernandez slowly losing touch with the leaders and being picked up by Di Giannantonio into turn one. The poleman didn’t look too comfortable as Navarro was looking threatening four tenths back but Fernandez soon found himself back on the provisional podium as Di Giannantonio went down in turn ten the next time around. Inheriting third and keeping third was a different story, Navarro harassing him straight away but Fernandez was putting up quite a fight.

Marquez had a brief look at the lead with ten laps to go before making it stick for good going into turn one on the next lap. With Baldassarri out of action, the battle for the win turned into the battle for the championship lead and Navarro was keen to have a say in that. Once the Spaniard sealed the deal on Fernandez, he was left with three seconds to recover on the leaders but the mountain did not seem as high given that Navarro found half a second in one lap.

Once Marquez settled at the front, Luthi kept close for a couple of laps but the Spaniard pulled another disappearing act, the gap growing to one full second with five laps left. The two seconds down to Navarro seemed like a step too far for the Speed Up rider too and the podium configuration looked settled. The only change for the next couple of laps was Marquez doubling his advantage and Navarro halving it but after a tense final lap for Luthi, the Swiss rider defended second place and Navarro settled for third.

The poleman took home a sensible fourth, while Bastianini crossed the line in a lonely fifth. Luca Marini was the eventual winner of the race-long fight for sixth place against Marcel Schrotter and Xavi Vierge but eighth position was still a decent result for Vierge after starting 20th on the grid. Sam Lowes and Testusa Nagashima completed the top ten.

One too many DNFs finally hurt Baldassarri, who drops from first to fourth in the title standings, while the podium in Montmeló becomes the new order in the championship. Marquez picks up the lead by seven points from Luthi, with Navarro 22 points down.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 38'25.678
2 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +1.989
3 9 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +2.532
4 40 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +3.802
5 33 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +7.472
6 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +13.996
7 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +14.565
8 97 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +14.953
9 22 Sam LOWES Kalex +15.898
10 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +17.947
11 41 Brad BINDER KTM +20.891
12 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +20.930
13 11 Nicolo BULEGA Kalex +22.352
14 24 Simone CORSI Kalex +25.192
15 88 Jorge MARTIN KTM +27.132
16 77 Dominique AEGERTER MV Agusta +30.395
17 35 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +32.230
18 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +33.315
19 94 Jonas FOLGER Kalex +39.441
20 16 Joe ROBERTS KTM +42.600
21 20 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA Kalex +44.461
22 4 Steven ODENDAAL NTS +47.623
23 72 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM +54.911
24 3 Lukas TULOVIC KTM +59.776
25 18 Xavi CARDELUS KTM +1'22.064
    Not Classified    
  96 Jake DIXON KTM 1 Lap
  62 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 6 Laps
  21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 9 Laps
  7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 16 Laps
  27 Iker LECUONA KTM 20 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  87 Remy GARDNER Kalex 0 Lap
Round Number: 
7
2019
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Comments

Alex Marquez did another great race. He will take a lot of confidence from this win into the next couple of rounds. If he can maintain the momentum gathered he may well break his duck and secure his first intermediate title. At the rear end of M2 this year we have a championship within a championship with M3 champions on board. Shall we call it the KTM M2 trophy of merit? Something is seriously wrong that side. I somehow doubt its the fundamentals of the chassis or the WP suspension. I think it has more to do with their data/software department not getting to grips with the new and more advanced electronic options availed to the current 765cc triples. Afterall, they wrapped up 2nd and 3rd in the M2 standings last year with the same pipe frames and WP suspension.