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.
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.
|7||Simone Corsi||Speed Up||25||39'29.182||13.291|
|10||Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||25||39'33.556||17.665|
|11||Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||25||39'33.653||17.762|
|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|
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