Sachsenring Moto2: Morbidelli beats Oliveira by 0.066s

MotoGP-bound Franco Morbidelli added a sixth victory to his Moto2 2017 campaign, beating Miguel Oliveira in a thrilling scrap at the Sachsenring.

Sachsenring Moto2: Morbidelli beats Oliveira by 0.066s

Poleman Morbidelli, who will race for his current team Marc VDS in the premier class next year, looked to have a comfortable run to the flag after nearest rivals Thomas Luthi and Alex Marquez crashed, but he was very nearly denied by a late Oliveira charge.

Off the line, Marquez had managed a marginally better launch than Morbidelli, going down the middle of the corner and forcing the championship leader to the outside.

Behind them, Luthi had stormed from seventh to fourth – and, as the top four began to break away from the pack, he swiftly moved past Sandro Cortese and Morbidelli to shadow race leader Marquez.

Marquez ran wide at the first corner of the third lap, allowing Luthi into the lead and letting the Swiss rider build a bit of a gap, while he scrapped with teammate Morbidelli.

Shortly thereafter, Marquez suffered a nasty crash while following Morbidelli through Turn 2, taking a hit from his out-of-control Marc VDS bike as he tumbled through the gravel.

With his teammate no longer on his tail, Morbidelli reeled in Luthi in virtually no time, before pulling off a smooth overtake down the inside of the Turn 12 left-hander.

Luthi stuck with him and came close to retaking the lead down the inside of Turn 1 a couple of laps later, but another attempted pass further into the lap ended with him falling off his bike.

By that point, Oliveira had scythed his way through the chasing pack, the Portuguese KTM rider continuing to gain on Morbidelli after Luthi's crash.

He was right with the Italian with 10 laps left to go but could only edge ahead on the penultimate tour at Turn 12.

But Morbidelli soon retook the lead down the inside of Turn 1 and survived Oliveira's last-lap onslaught to win by 0.066s.

Francesco Bagnaia made up the podium, having overtaken Simone Corsi with two laps left to run, with Corsi followed at the flag by compatriot Mattia Pasini in fifth.

Moto3 graduates Jorge Navarro and Brad Binder scored their best finishes of the season in sixth and seventh, with Cortese, Marcel Schrotter and Takaaki Nakagami making up the top 10.

Tech 3 rider Hector Garzo, making his Moto2 debut in place of the injured Xavi Vierge, ran as high as fourth early on, but was swiftly shuffled down the order.

He then had a painful crash at Turn 12 and just narrowly avoided being hit by Andrea Locatelli's bike, which cartwheeled over him after the Italian had fallen in the same corner.

The outcome of the race leaves Morbidelli on 173 points to nearest rival Luthi's 136, with Oliveira moving up to third on 114 – one point clear of Marquez.

Race results:

1 21 italy Franco Morbidelli Kalex 41'05.137
2 44 portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 0.066
3 42 italy Francesco Bagnaia Kalex 0.574
4 24 italy Simone Corsi Speed Up 0.749
5 54 italy Mattia Pasini Kalex 1.300
6 9 spain Jorge Navarro Kalex 8.958
7 41 south_africa Brad Binder KTM 9.204
8 11 germany Sandro Cortese Suter 15.099
9 23 germany Marcel Schrötter Suter 17.875
10 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 19.291
11 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 20.767
12 87 australia Remy Gardner Tech 3 21.533
13 40 france Fabio Quartararo Kalex 24.635
14 19 belgium Xavier Simeon Kalex 27.357
15 62 italy Stefano Manzi Kalex 27.411
16 2 switzerland Jesko Raffin Kalex 37.620
17 68 colombia Yonny Hernandez Kalex 44.500
18 45 japan  Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 44.556
19 57 spain Edgar Pons Kalex 48.711
20 89 malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex 49.534
21 27 spain Iker Lecuona Kalex 52.511
22 32 spain Isaac Viñales Kalex 1'04.259
23 6 united_kingdom Tarran Mackenzie Suter 1'12.905
24 22 italy Federico Fuligni Kalex 1'18.109
Ret 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi Kalex 18 laps
Ret  77 switzerland Dominique Aegerter Suter 22 laps
Ret  73 spain Alex Marquez Kalex 25 laps
Ret  14 spain  Hector Garzo Tech 3 27 laps
Ret  5 italy Andrea Locatelli Kalex 27 laps
Ret  37 spain Augusto Fernandez Speed Up -
Assen Moto2: Morbidelli beats title rival Luthi on final lap
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