Austin Moto2: Bagnaia overcomes Marquez to win

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Austin Moto2: Bagnaia overcomes Marquez to win
By: Phillip Horton
Apr 22, 2018, 6:18 PM

Sky VR46 rider Francesco Bagnaia overhauled Alex Marquez to grab the Moto2 points lead with victory at Austin, his second win from three races.

Bagnaia started from fourth place on the grid but passed Sam Lowes off the line and quickly worked his way past Mattia Pasini, as polesitter Marquez opened a one-second advantage.

Bagnaia chipped away at Marquez’s lead and caught his Marc VDS rival mid-distance, shadowing his opponent, and setting up a move into Turn 11.

Marquez immediately re-passed Bagnaia but the Italian fought back a few laps later, battling through the first sequence of corners before prising the lead away into Turn 11, a position he cemented on the brakes into Turn 12.

Marquez briefly countered but was unable to live with the pace set by Bagnaia, who went on to record a comfortable victory, following on from his triumph in Qatar’s season-opener.

Marquez’s pace dropped off across the closing laps, accentuated by a wild moment through Turn 18, though he resisted a resurgent Miguel Oliveira to take second.

Oliveira started from 12th spot but made light work of his opponents, grabbing third mid-distance, though was unable to bridge the four-second deficit to Marquez, in spite of the latter’s late issues.

Joan Mir staged a strong comeback to take fourth spot, having tumbled out of the top 10 on the opening lap following contact with Luca Marini and Dominique Aegerter.

Third and fourth had belonged to Xavi Vierge and Marcel Schrotter, but both crashed out, the former sliding off at Turn 18, moments after losing a couple of spots, while Schrotter suffered a heavy high-side exiting Turn 1.

Schrotter clutched his left shoulder as he clambered to his feet, before heading to the medical centre for further attention.

Iker Lecuona claimed his best-ever result with fifth spot, picking up the pieces for the CGBM Evolution squad after erstwhile front-row starter Lowes crashed through Turn 18.

Brad Binder made similar progress to Red Bull KTM teammate Oliveira to rise from 16th to sixth, as Pasini slipped back to seventh, his prospects underdone by opting for the harder rear tyre.

Jorge Navarro took eighth spot, another rider to make gains from a low-key grid spot, while Aegerter recovered from his Turn 1 clash with Mir to classify ninth.

Lorenzo Baldassarri rounded out the top 10 for the Pons outfit.

Race results:

Pos.#RiderBikeTime/Gap
1 42 italy Francesco Bagnaia  Kalex 39'30.016 
2 73 spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 2.464
3 44 portugal Miguel Oliveira  KTM 3.704
4 36 spain Joan Mir  Kalex 5.376
5 27 spain Iker Lecuona  KTM 6.867
6 41 south_africa Brad Binder  KTM 6.876
7 54 italy Mattia Pasini  Kalex 9.308
8 9 spain Jorge Navarro  Kalex 10.510
9 77 switzerland Dominique Aegerter  KTM 10.595
10 7 italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex 11.497
11 32 spain Isaac Viñales  Kalex 12.339
12 24 italy Simone Corsi  Kalex 13.458
13 10 italy Luca Marini  Kalex 14.282
14 5 italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 14.548
15 20 france Fabio Quartararo  Speed Up 17.169
16 13 italy Romano Fenati  Kalex 20.609
17 87 australia Remy Gardner  Tech 3 20.821
18 40 spain Hector Barbera  Kalex 27.068
19 45 japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 27.245
20 64 netherlands Bo Bendsneyder  Tech 3 32.144
21 4 south_africa Steven Odendaal  NTS 38.350
22 51 brazil  Eric Granado  Suter 38.579
23 16 united_states Joe Roberts  NTS 44.257
24 22 united_kingdom Sam Lowes  KTM 45.289
25 89 malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 46.966
26 95 france Jules Danilo  Kalex 1'10.364
27 63 malaysia Zulfahmi Khairuddin  Kalex 1'27.099
28 21 italy Federico Fuligni  Kalex 1'27.257
Ret 97 spain Xavi Vierge  Kalex 5 laps
Ret  62 italy Stefano Manzi  Suter 7 laps
Ret  23 germany Marcel Schrötter  Kalex 12 laps
Ret  52 united_kingdom Danny Kent  Speed Up 15 laps
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About this article

Series Moto2
Event Austin
Location Circuit of the Americas
Drivers Alex Marquez , Francesco Bagnaia
Teams Team VR46
Author Phillip Horton
Article type Race report