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Austin Moto2: Luthi takes first win since MotoGP exit

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Austin Moto2: Luthi takes first win since MotoGP exit
By:
Apr 14, 2019, 6:22 PM

Ex-MotoGP rider Tom Luthi won the third race of his return to Moto2 at Austin ahead of Marcel Schrotter, as championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri crashed on the opening lap.

Baldassarri was an innocent victim of Jorge Martin's bike having a major moment at the fast Turn 10 left-hander, the Italian unable to avoid the KTM.

The Italian still leads the championship, but his lead is down to three points ahead of Schrotter.

It was the second crash of the opening lap as Fabio Di Giannantonio and local rider Joe Roberts tangled heading into the first turn, the duo also collecting Xavi Vierge.

At the front, polesitter Schrotter had a lightning start but went too wide at Turn 1, allowing Alex Marquez and Luthi through.

Luthi challenged Marquez from the get-go but the Spaniard showcased some great defensive riding to hold on to the lead for seven laps.

Then Luthi finally found a way past at the end of the back straight, and as Schrotter put pressure on Marquez as well, Luthi was able to pull away.

The Swiss rider built a lead of 2.5s in just two laps, a gap which he maintained to the finish.

Schrotter completed an Intact GP 1-2 as he also passed the Marc VDS bike of Marquez at Turn 20 two laps after Luthi.

Marquez continued to drop back and struggled with stopping at hard braking zones in the late stages, going wide on several occasions.

He kept third place until only three laps were remaining, when he ran wide on two occasions and lost three positions.

Speed Up's Jorge Navarro took third as a result, celebrating his maiden podium in the category.

Mattia Pasini, stepping in for the injured Augusto Fernandez at Pons, took an impressive fourth while Marquez was able to salvage fifth ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing VR46).

Gresini Racing's Sam Lowes finished seventh followed by Italian trio Simone Corsi (Tasca), Enea Bastianini (Italtrans) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans).

Reigning Moto3 champion Martin was the top KTM runner in 15th as teammate Brad Binder retired with a clutch problem and Marco Bezzecchi crashed.

Iker Lecuona had a highside, while Xavi Cardelus, whose Angel Nieto teammate Jake Dixon did not race due to concussion, retired in the pits.

Race results:

Pos. Rider Bike Gap
1 Switzerland Thomas Luthi  Kalex 39'11.508
2 Germany Marcel Schrotter  Kalex 2.532
3 Spain Jorge Navarro  Speed Up 3.836
4 Italy Mattia Pasini  Kalex 4.757
5 Spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 7.741
6 Italy Luca Marini  Kalex 8.031
7 United Kingdom Sam Lowes  Kalex 8.282
8 Italy Simone Corsi  Kalex 8.953
9 Italy Enea Bastianini  Kalex 10.706
10 Italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 16.868
11 Australia Remy Gardner  Kalex 25.633
12 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 25.948
13 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder  NTS 26.997
14 Switzerland Dominique Aegerter  MV 27.462
15 Spain Jorge Martin  KTM 27.482
16 Switzerland Jesko Raffin  NTS 39.435
17 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 49.582
18 Germany Philipp Ottl  KTM 51.247
19 Germany Lukas Tulovic  KTM 51.380
20 Thailand Somkiat Chantra  Kalex 53.778
21 Italy Gabriele Ruiu  MV 1'19.156
22 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama  Kalex 1'19.286
  Spain Iker Lecuona  KTM 5 Laps
  Italy Marco Bezzecchi  KTM 6 Laps
  Andorra Xavi Cardelus  KTM 12 Laps
  South Africa Brad Binder  KTM 16 Laps
  Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio  Speed Up  
  Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex  
  Spain Xavi Vierge  Kalex  
  United States Joe Roberts  KTM  
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About this article

Series Moto2
Event Austin
Sub-event Race
Drivers Thomas Luthi
Teams Intact GP
Author David Gruz