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Qatar Moto2: Baldassarri holds off Luthi to win opener

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Qatar Moto2: Baldassarri holds off Luthi to win opener
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Mar 10, 2019, 4:18 PM

Lorenzo Baldassarri held off Tom Luthi to win the first Moto2 race of 2019 in Qatar by 0.026s as KTM suffered a disastrous start to the season.

Pons rider Baldassarri started the race third, passed polesitter Marcel Schrotter off the line, made a move on Xavi Vierge on Lap 2 and then didn't give up the lead until the finish.

Luthi on the other hand lost positions from seventh on the grid, but he was able to gradually make up positions as the race progressed.

After passing Remy Gardner and Schrotter in quick succession, he had four laps to also pass Baldassarri, but he was unable to make a move.

He was all over Baldassarri on the final lap and had a good exit out of the last corner, but he fell just short, settling for second by 0.026s on his return to Moto2 following a single year in MotoGP.

Third place was decided by an even smaller margin, as Schrotter denied Gardner his maiden Moto2 podium by just two thousandths of a second.

Baldassarri's teammate Augusto Fernandez was an impressive fifth with Sam Lowes taking sixth.

Alex Marquez charged from seventh to fourth in the early stages but ran out of pace in the end as he fell back to seventh, followed by Luca Marini.

Italtrans rider Enea Bastianini was the top rookie in ninth with Vierge, struggling for pace even more than teammate Marquez, settling for 10th despite leading on Lap 1.

Brad Binder was also unable to keep his early position of fourth and in the end finished 12th.

The South African still ended as the top KTM as he and 15th-placed Jorge Martin were the only two bikes of the Austrian brand to finish inside the top 20.

Martin's former Moto3 rival Marco Bezzecchi crashed on the opening lap and was 26th at the finish line.

There was another accident on the opening lap involving Jorge Navarro, Nicolo Bulega and Iker Lecuona at Turn 1, while Tetsuta Nagashima, Jake Dixon and Somkiat Chantra also failed to finish.

Race results

Cla Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex 20  
2 Switzerland Thomas Luthi  Kalex 20 0.026
3 Germany Marcel Schrotter  Kalex 20 2.123
4 Australia Remy Gardner  Kalex 20 2.125
5 Spain Augusto Fernandez  Kalex 20 2.305
6 United Kingdom Sam Lowes  Kalex 20 3.334
7 Spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 20 5.018
8 Italy Luca Marini  Kalex 20 7.336
9 Italy Enea Bastianini  Kalex 20 12.949
10 Spain Xavi Vierge  Kalex 20 13.865
11 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio  Speed Up 20 15.525
12 South Africa Brad Binder  KTM 20 16.591
13 Italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 20 18.667
14 Switzerland Jesko Raffin  NTS 20 18.916
15 Spain Jorge Martin  KTM 20 22.771
16 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder  NTS 20 22.822
17 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 20 23.978
18 Switzerland Dominique Aegerter  MV 20 26.904
19 Italy Simone Corsi  Kalex 20 27.030
20 Italy Stefano Manzi  MV 20 40.274
21 Germany Lukas Tulovic  KTM 20 43.003
22 United States Joe Roberts  KTM 20 44.212
23 Germany Philipp Ottl  KTM 20 47.657
24 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama  Kalex 20 57.596
25 Andorra Xavi Cardelus  KTM 20 1'18.749
26 Italy Marco Bezzecchi  KTM 20 1'35.817
  Japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 2 18 Laps
  United Kingdom Jake Dixon  KTM 2 18 Laps
  Thailand Somkiat Chantra  Kalex 1 19 Laps
  Spain Jorge Navarro  Speed Up    
  Italy Nicolo Bulega  Kalex    
  Spain Iker Lecuona  KTM    
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About this article

Series Moto2
Event Losail
Drivers Thomas Luthi , Lorenzo Baldassarri
Teams Pons Racing
Author David Gruz