Australian Moto2: Luthi wins title-changing thriller

Thomas Luthi brought himself well and truly into title contention with his second win in two weekends at Phillip Island, while other contenders struggled.

Australian Moto2: Luthi wins title-changing thriller
Thomas Lüthi, Interwetten
Thomas Lüthi, Interwetten
Alex Rins, Paginas Amarillas HP 40
Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS
Mattia Pasini, Italtrans Racing Team
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Mattia Pasini, Italtrans Racing Team
Takaaki Nakagami, Honda Team Asia
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS
Sandro Cortese, Dynavolt IntactGP
Jonas Folger, Dynavolt IntactGP
Marcel Schrötter, AGR Team

The Swiss rider got off to a good start from pole, with Mattia Pasini slotting in second as Jonas Folger kept third.

Behind the Top 3, Franco Morbidelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri got themselves inside the Top 5 after starting from the lower half of the Top 10.

With Folger dropping down the order, it soon became a three-way fight for the win involving Luthi, Morbidelli and Pasini, with Baldassarri and Sandro Cortese not too far back.

A late fall for Pasini meant it came down to Luthi and Morbidelli, with the Italian chasing his first championship victory.

After a few lead changes, the final lap saw Morbidelli move ahead of Luthi – but the Marc VDS rider's maiden win wasn't to be. 

Luthi utilised the start/finish line slipstream to his advantage and snatched victory from Morbidelli’s hands – the two separated by just 0.010s as chequered flag was waved.

With Pasini out of equation, Cortese held his nerve to claim the final podium slot, his first top 3 finish of the season.

Behind the top 3, Baldassarri was fourth after losing touch with the lead group, being closely followed by Takaaki Nakagami.

Further back, Folger eventually finished sixth having started from the front-row, with Simone Corsi in at seventh.

Axel Pons, Marcel Schrotter and Xavi Vierge rounded off the top 10 – the latter registering his best finish of the season.

Meanwhile, championship leader Johann Zarco had a difficult race ending only 12th, unable to clear Xavier Simon in the end, 0.034s separating the two.

But the French rider still keeps his lead as both of his contenders Alex Rins and Sam Lowes crashed out of the race.

With his fourth win of the season and unfortunate luck to Rins and Lowes, it means Luthi now has got himself in second in the standings, 22 points behind leader Zarco with two races remaining.

Race results:

PosDriverBikeLapsTimeGap
1 Thomas Luthi Kalex 25 39'15.891  
2 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 25 39'15.901 0.010
3 Sandro Cortese Kalex 25 39'16.421 0.530
4 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 25 39'18.972 3.081
5 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 25 39'19.706 3.815
6 Jonas Folger Kalex 25 39'26.978 11.087
7 Simone Corsi Speed Up 25 39'29.182 13.291
8 Axel Pons Kalex 25 39'32.302 16.411
9 Marcel Schrötter Kalex 25 39'33.541 17.650
10 Xavi Vierge Tech 3 25 39'33.556 17.665
11 Xavier Simeon Speed Up 25 39'33.653 17.762
12 Johann Zarco Kalex 25 39'33.687 17.796
13 Jesko Raffin Kalex 25 39'47.466 31.575
14 Edgar Pons Kalex 25 39'50.561 34.670
15 Ratthapark Wilairot Kalex 25 39'56.345 40.454
16 Luca Marini Kalex 25 40'03.598 47.707
17 Robin Mulhauser Kalex 25 40'50.361 1'34.470
18 Ramdan Rosli Kalex 24 39'26.190 1 lap
  Alessandro Nocco Kalex 23 38'11.544 2 laps
  Mattia Pasini Kalex 22 34'34.627 3 laps
  Danny Kent Kalex 22 35'05.193 3 laps
  Remy Gardner Kalex 13 21'50.867 12 laps
  Julian Simon Speed Up 9 14'21.367 16 laps
  Iker Lecuona Kalex 9 14'36.321 16 laps
  Alex Rins Kalex 6 9'33.844 19 laps
  Sam Lowes Kalex 2 3'16.300 23 laps
  Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 0    
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