Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Moto2 rider Franco Morbidelli overcame a lot at the 14th round of the Moto2 season; after qualifying in seventh and losing more places at the start of the race, he finished the Grand Premio Movistar de Aragon in third claiming the last place on the podium.
Morbidelli loses a place at the start of the race
Immediately at the start of the race, Morbidelli lost a position and was in eighth under pressure from Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport). It looked that he was out of contention almost until the seventh lap when he had made his way up to and past Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) to claim sixth from the Spaniard, just after the pair had overtaken Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing).
Morbidelli was in fifth by lap eight; ahead of him Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) was chasing Sam Lowes (Federal oil Gresini Moto2) for the lead, and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was pursuing Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) for the final spot on the podium. The Italian settled into a rhythm and it was not long before he had caught and passed Nakagami after ten laps of the race.
Morbidelli continued his surge through the field
It took just three laps before Morbidelli was on Luthi’s tail; he decided to wait until the main straight to make his move, using the tow from Luthi’s Kalex to allow him to slipstream and overtake at the end of the straight. Luthi tucked in behind the Italian and made an attempt to pass him at the overtaking hotspot turn one on lap 14, but he had to abort his plan.
Morbidelli’s was truly on form and he continued to lap quickly which enabled him to hunt down his teammate Marquez who had fallen behind Lowes a little. On the 16th lap, Marquez had a moment when the rear slid, but fortunately he rescued and was able to continue losing only time and momentum. It all played into Morbidelli’s hand and on the last lap he was there, ready to make his attack at any point.
Marbidelli attack Marquez on the final corner of the race
It came down to the final corner, Morbidelli made his move on his teammate, passing him with ease, but immediately Marquez retaliated. They competed in a drag race to the line where Marquez came out triumphant, collecting his best ever Moto2 result in second, just 0.032 seconds ahead of Morbidelli who crossed the line in third.
The 16 points Morbidelli collected at the Aragon round of the Moto2 means the Italian is in fifth on 141 points, now 13 points behind Luthi who is fourth.
Morbidelli happy with podium and catching his teammate in the race
Morbidelli was brief when he spoke of how he “had just one chance” during the end of the race “to try and overtake Alex”, and by the time he caught him it was “at the final corner on the last lap”. He described how it was a “great feeling” to catch him as he knew he was “far behind early in the race”.
Reflecting on the race he said, “My start position was not the best”, he felt starting from seventh was “a pity” as he knew he “had the race pace”. However, the Italian rider was “happy” as he felt the result demonstrates that “the team is capable of being constantly at the top level”.
Team Prinicpal praisies his Moto2 riders
Morbidelli’s third on the podium meant it was doublet success for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Team. Michael Bartholomy, who is Team Principal, said the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon was a “fantastic day” and which led to their “first double podium since 2014”; it allowed them to “flashback to that great season”.
He spoke of how the “pace was very high early in the race” and as well as being happy for Marquez who he said did “an excellent job to secure second” and his first Moto2 podium, he knew Morbidelli would have been able to achieve more had he not started from so far back on the grid.
He said starting from seventh “penalised” him, however he “rode a very strong race from eighth”, as he had lost a position initially, and he was positive that “if he had qualified on the front he would have been challenging for the race win today”.