Franco Morbidelli made it six wins out of nine Moto2 races when he won the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Moto2 race at the Sachsenring; making it eight out of nine for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
New contract for Morbidelli ahead of German round
The Italian rider, who recently announced he would be moving up to the MotoGP class with the team, was joined on the podium by Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who challenged for the win, and rookie, Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in third. Just nine rounds in, the two new teams were once again on the podium in their debut season.
Morbidelli won from pole, he was able to pass his teammate, Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) who got a great start from second on the front row and accelerated from the grid to take the lead. Local rider, Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) was third on the grid and was able to stay with the front runners briefly before falling back down the ranks.
Marquez crashed out, as did Luthi
Marquez unfortunately fell off; his crash was spectacular and fortunately he appeared unhurt. The Italian then lost the lead to Thomas Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and regaining it, Luthi fell off at turn 12. It left Morbidelli with a clear track until along come Oliveira who caught and stalked him, before challenging for the win. Unfortunately a mistake from Oliveira allowed Morbidelli to regain the lead, but Oliveira made one final attempt on the penultimate to take it back.
Oliveira made Morbidelli fight for the win
He possibly acted too soon as he was unable to retain it and instead, Morbidelli made a move at the end of the race that stuck and he went on to win the race just 0.066 seconds ahead of Oliveira in second.
The battle for the lead meant that third in the race, Bagnaia was able to catch them. He had previously engaged in battle with Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team). He fought them off and was able to continue on in pursuit of the leaders. Had he had a few more laps, it might have been a completely different story.
Six wins for Morbidelli
Morbidelli’s sixth win means he is leading the Moto2 championship; he is top of the standings with 174 points. Going into the summer break he has a 34 point lead over the consistent; although he hasn’t won a race so far this season he has achieved many podiums and scored points in most rounds.
The Italian however heads into the summer break with a good lead, confidence, and his mind at ease with his future for the next three years decided. Not bad for someone who won his well-deserved first Moto2 race at the start of the year in Qatar.
Morbidelli claimed that he was “living the dream” after claiming his sixth win in Sachsenring and said he “doesn’t want to wake up”. He felt that the ninth round in Germany was a “very difficult race” especially when he had to “defend the lead against Miguel” who he said “caught [him] very fast in the middle of the race”.
He mentioned how the Portuguese rider “did not overtake” and that he felt that if Oliveira had done that he “would have been struggling”. He found himself “getting ready for a big battle over the final two laps”. He admitted that it “was not easy” however he “did a very good lap” which helped and “gave him a victory”. He thanked his team “for all the hard work”.
Oliveira hoping to claim victory soon
Oliveira looked disappointed after being unable to claim what would have been Red Bull KTM Ajo’s first Moto2 victory, just nine rounds in to their debut season. It seems he is on the brink of achieving it, this is the third time he has graced the podium with his presence, and he is surely to comeback from the summer break feeling more determined than ever. He is now third in the championship 23 points behind Luthi with 117 points.
Oliveira explained how Morbidelli was “very strong under braking” and after he “tried to overtake him on the downhill section a couple of times and also during the last lap” unfortunately he had to settle on the fact that “it wasn’t to be”.
Still, taking the positives from the meeting he knows they are “very strong” and he mentioned that they “have already taken many top five finishes this year”. He spoke of how he had been “wanting to return to the podium for the last two races” and in Sachsenring he feels they have “taken another small step forwards towards the top positions”.
He described the whole weekend in Germany as “amazing” and he was left feeling “very happy for the whole team” and himself. He planned to use the holidays that followed to “rest and to analyse what [they] have done so far”.
He feels that it is “incredible” that they are third in the world championship and admitted that it is “something [they] weren’t expecting” and they plan to “try to continue with this positive dynamic” in the hope of being able to “continue to take good results”.
Bagnaia dedicates win to his Mum on her birthday
Bagnaia was again incredible in what was just his ninth race in the 600cc class and has surely proved that he was the right man to bring the team into the Moto2 class. As a VR46 Racing Academy graduate, he is now doing incredibly well in the championship where he is fifth as the highest placed rookie on 78 points.
Bagnaia described the German round as a “long and tiring race” but said, “What a satisfaction at the end!” He felt that they “did a really great job after Mugello, Barcelona and Assen” and worked well to “return to be competitive in the group”. He knew that this was “a great result just before the break”.
Knowing he “did not start in the very front” he spoke of how he “pushed right away to clear the gap”. He then “stayed with Corsi and Pasini until the chequered flag” and then “tried the last two laps”. He explained how he “passed Simone” and then gave his best “to take a minimum of advantage” and completing his “fast run just before the finish line”.
He went on to say, “Thank you to all the Team for their great work” and then went on to dedicate the podium to his Mum on her birthday and declaring, “I go on holiday with a smile.”