Oliveira wins in Valencia and completes a wonderful hattrick 

Miguel Oliveira got his 3rd consecutive win in the intermmediate class after a great performance on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Already World Champion, Franco Morbidelli followed the Portuguese, while Brad Binder, Oliveira’s teammate, completed the podium.

The Marc VDS duo remained in control  of the race after the start, with Marquez ahead of Morbidelli. Soon, Morbidelli went past his teammate and tried to pull a gap between him and his followers.

Mattia Pasini showed good pace and had a nice battle with Alex Marquez for the 2nd place, but, unfortunately, the Italian veteran crashed. 

The 3rd place was thus given to Miguel Oliveira, who was started to melt the difference between him and Marquez. 

Morbidelli kept inscreasing his lead at the front until his teammate was overtaken by Oliveira. Having got into 2nd, the Portuguese pushed hard to catch up with the World Champion. 

With 5 laps to go, Oliveira’s mission was accomplished and he took control of the race. There was nothing Morbidelli could do from then on as the KTM rider was simply faster.

Same can be said about the 3rd place battle, where Brad Binder managed to catch and eventually get past Alex Marquez. The Spaniard was also overtaken by Francesco Bagnaia later on. 

Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in 1st place, scoring his 3rd consecutive win. This was his 9th podium finish in 2017, so he ends the season with a 50% podium rate. Pretty impressive, we may say. Morbidelli and Binder completed the podium, with Bagnaia in P4 and Alex Marquez in P5. Hafizh Syahrin impressed in dry conditions and crossed the line in 6th, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami, who says goodbye to the intermmediate class with a top 10 finish. Fabio Quartararo, Simone Corsi and Dominique Aegerter rounded up the top 10.

Morbidelli finishes the season as World Champion with 308 points, with Tom Luthi as the runner up, with 243 points. Miguel Oliveira takes the bronze medal, with 241 points, 40 more than Alex Marquez.

Francesco Bagnaia finishes 5th overall, also as the ‘Rookie of the Year’, with 174 points. Mattia Pasini and Takaaki Nakagami follow in 6th and 7th, with 148 and 136 points, respectively. Brad Binder manages to climb up to 8th after this great last part of the year, with 125 points.

photo credit – MCN

Luthi to miss the Valencian GP

After missing the Malaysian GP and having his title chances destroyed in the worst way possible, Thomas Luthi will not come back on the grid for the last GP of the year.

During the qualifying session of the Malaysian GP, Luthi suffered a heavy highside. He was taken to hospital, where a fracture of the ankle was revealed. As a result, he did not start in the race and Franco Morbidelli was crowned as the new Moto2 World Champion.

The Swiss rider announced on a social media platform that he would undergo surgery during this week to fix the fracture and that this will force him to miss his last Moto2 race.

In 2018, Thomas Luthi will line up on the MotoGP grid alongside EG 0,0 Marc VDS. He will share the garage with his rival in the Moto2 title fight from this year, Franco Morbidelli.

Thomas Luthi is a former 125cc World Champion in 2005. In both 2016 and 2017, he finished in Moto2 as a runner-up.

photo credit – vincentguignet_photography

Oliveira dominates Moto2 again as Morbidelli becomes World Champion

Miguel Oliveira repetead the magnificent performance from Phillip Island and won the Moto2 race after leading from start to finish. Brad Binder completed the second straight KTM double, while Franco Morbidelli completed the podium and became the 2017 Moto2 World Champion.

Unfortunately, the championship equation was solved before the race start, as Thomas Luthi was declared unfit to start after a fracture of the ankle was revealed following his crash during the qualifying session. With an advantage of more than 25 points, Franco Morbidelli was sure that he would be crowned World Champion at the end of the race irrespective of his result in it.

Miguel Oliveira took the lead in Turn 1 after starting from P2 and started to put distance between him and the EG 0,0 Marc VDS riders slowly but surely. Francesco Bagnaia and Brad Binder were closely following the VDS duo, aspiring to the 2nd place.

A first incident occured when Takaaki Nakagami and Sandro Cortese slided out of the race. Some turns later, a multiple incident ended the race of Luca Marini, Axel Pons, Khairul Idham Pawi, Remy Gardner and local wildcard Ekky Patrama. Also, Alex Marquez crashed while in 2nd, throwing away his chances at the 3rd place in the championship. The Spaniard got up and rejoined the race, only to crash again in the following lap. This time it was game over.

As Oliveira was cruising to a new victory, Bagnaia lost the rhytm of Morbidelli and Binder and dropped out of the battle for the second place. Binder stayed close to Morbdelli, but he did not show any overtake intentions until the closing stages of the race.

With 5 laps to go, rain made its appearance and the red flag with red diagonals was brought out by the track marshalls. Brad Binder realised that this might be followed by a red flag if the conditions were to worsen, so he made his move on Morbidelli.

The championship leader did not fight back, settling on the last step of the podium till the end of the race.

Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in 1st place for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, with Brad Binder completing once again a superb Red Bull KTM Ajo double. Morbidelli finished 3rd and the party kicked-off in the pits, as the Brazilian-Italian is the new World Champion.

An interesting battle emerged for the 4th place, with Mattia Pasini walking away victorious after defeating Pecco Bagnaia. Fabio Quartaro was in charge of the 5th place for some time, but his pace dropped and he was overtaken by Pasini, who eventually also went past Bagnaia. Local hero Hafizh Syahrin took advantage of Quartararo s struggles and went past the Frenchman to clinch P6. Xavi Vierge offered another solid prestation, crossing the line in P8, ahead of former teammate Isaac Vinales and Tetsuta Nagashima, who locked out the top 10.

The difference in the championship standings between Morbidelli and Luthi was increased to 45 points (288-243) with only 25 up for grabs, so we have our new Moto2 World Champion. Miguel Oliveira secured the bronze medal, as he is now 26 points ahead of rival Alex Marquez (216-190). An all-Italian battle will emerge in Valencia for the 5th place, as the difference between Bagnaia and Pasini consists of only 13 points in the favour of the rookie (161-148).

Franco Morbidelli became the first Italian World Champion since Valentino Rossi, who won MotoGP World Championship in 2009. The last Italian World Champion in the intermmediate class was Marco Simoncelli, who was crowned 250cc World Champion in 2008. What is interesting is that all these 3 Italian riders were crowned World Champions at the Sepang Circuit.

photo credit – Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

#21 vs #12 – All the scenarios that would make Morbidelli a World Champion on Sunday

Franco Morbidelli left Australia with a 29 point advantage over Thomas Luthi. Thus, the Brazilian-Italian has the first chance to matematically clinch the title this Sunday on the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Below you can check all the scenarios from which would result the coronation of Morbidelli as the 2017 Moto2 World Champion.

— If Morbidelli wins the race, he will win the championship no matter on which place Luthi crosses the line.

— If Morbidelli finishes 2nd or 3rd, he will win the championship if Luthi does not win the race.

— If Morbidelli finishes 4th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish 1st or 2nd.

— If Morbidelli finishes 5th, 6th ot 7th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish on the podium.

— If Morbidelli finishes 8th or 9th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 4.

— If Morbidelli finishes 10th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 5.

— If Morbidelli finishes 11th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 6.

— If Morbidelli finishes 12th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 7.

— If Morbidelli finishes 13th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 8.

— If Morbidelli finishes 14th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 9.

— If Morbidelli finishes 15th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 10.

— If Morbidelli fails to score points, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 11.

In tomorrow s race, Morbidelli will start from pole position, while Luthi will start from the 5th place on the grid. The Moto2 battle will commence at 13:20 local time (7:20 Romanian time).

photo credit – The Checkered Flag

Oliveira dominates Moto2 in Australia and scores first ever intermmediate class win

Miguel Oliveira won at Phillip Island after leading from start to finish, thus becoming the first ever Portuguese rider to win an intermmediate class race. Brad Binder won a great duel with Franco Morbidelli for 2nd place, completing a superb Red Bull KTM Ajo double.

Starting from 3rd, Miguel Oliveira jumped into the lead after Turn 1, with poleman Mattia Pasini dropping into 5th, behind Morbidelli, Binder and Marcel Schrotter.

Disaster struck for the Italian veteran as Schrotter highsided in front of him and collected his bike.

Oliveira, Binder and Morbidelli pulled a gap at the front, with Tom Luthi in P4, 3 seconds behind.

In spite of the great start, the Swiss rider was not capable of mantaining a high rhytm and dropped to the outside of the top 5.

As Oliveira was slowely but surely getting away, Binder and Morbidelli offered the spectators some good quality overtakes. This allowed Takaaki Nakagami, who was already in P4, to melt the difference of more than 2 seconds that separated him from the podium battle.

The Japanese rider eventually caught up with the Binder-Morbidelli duo and went easily past them, leaving them in a battle for the last spot on the podium.

In the penultimate lap, as Binder and Morbidelli were playing Part 2 of their intense duel, disaster struck for Taka Nakagami. The Honda Team Asia rider slided out of the race during his utopian attempt to catch Oliveira, who was more than 3 seconds ahead.

Oliveira crossed the line in 1st, nothing down his first ever win the category and also the first for KTM. Brad Binder eventually defeated Morbidelli and took 2nd, giving Aki Ajo a reason to smile even larger.

Jesko Raffin rode the race of his life, as the Swiss rider clinched 4th after a battle with Xavi Vierge, who locked out the top 5. The 6th place was disputed in a 6-way battle, with Alex Marquez eventually walking away victorious. Simone Corsi came back to the top 10 ways after a disappointing Japanese GP as the veteran crossed the line in 7th, just ahead of Dominique Aegerter. Sandro Cortese was 9th, with title contender Tom Luthi only 10th after another disappointing race.

In the championship standings, Franco Morbidelli extends his lead to 29 points in front of Thomas Luthi (272-243). The battle for 3rd once again rages on, as Oliveira goes past Marquez for 1 point (191-190).

photo credit – Miguel Oliveira #44 – Official Website

Pasini case reloaded – Aegerter stripped of Misano victory due to oil irregularity

Kiefer Racing rider Dominique Aegerter clinched a resounding win in Misano one month ago in a soaking-wet race after a battle with compatriot Thomas Luthi.

However, at the post qualifying technical control held after the Moto2 qualifying session in Misano, Aegerter was found to have been using an oil outside the FIM specifications.

Aegerter attended a hearing with the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel during the Aragon GP where he was informed about the results of the oil sample and he elected to have another sample tested.

Unfortunately for him, the second sample showed the same results as the first one. Aegerter was acknowledged of these facts during another hearing which was held in Japan. As a result, Aegerter was sanctioned with the disqualification of the entire San Marino GP event.

This decision gives Thomas Luthi his second win of the season. Hafizh Syahrin is promoted from 3rd to 2nd, while Francesco Bagnaia takes the last podium spot after having eventually finished 4th.

Of course, this decision is also reflected in the championship standings. Thomas Luthi is now 5 points richer, closing the gap to Morbidelli to 19 points (256-237). Alex Marquez and Miguel Oliveira do not gain any additional points as none of them finished the San Marino GP.

This is not the first time something like this happens in 2017. Before the summer break, Mattia Pasini was stripped of his 2nd place finish at the Catalan GP because of the same oil irregularities.

photo credit – motogp.com

A. Marquez comes back to winning ways in Motegi

EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Alex Marquez took his 3rd win of the current season here in Motegi after a hard-fought battle. Xavi Vierge and Hafizh Syahrin completed the podium.

Poleman Takaaki Nakagami had a great start and kept his lead after Turn 1. Mattia Pasini jumped in 2nd, with Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge closely following. Thomas Luthi had a great start, climbing up in 7th, while Morbidelli was only 12th.

The great pace of Mattia Pasini was temporary and the veteran was easily overtaken by Vierge and Marquez. Luthi was another one to drop, until he was caught by rival Morbidelli, who also went past him without any problems.

In spite of leading for the majority of the race, Nakagami s rear tyre caused big troubles to the home hero and forced him to take things easy. Thus, Alex Marquez took the lead. Meanwhile, rain master Hafizh Syahrin went past Pasini.

Nakagami was also helpless against Vierge and Syahrin and dropped out of the podium in the course of only 1 lap.

Marquez pulled a gap at the front and his compatriot could not do anything about that. However, Vierge managed to perfectly defend his 2nd place ahead of Syahrin.

Alex Marquez won for more than one second ahead of Vierge, who scored his first ever podium finish. Syahrin completed the podium.

Francesco Bagnaia made two stunning moves in the last lap on Nakagami and Pasini and crossed the line in 4th, with Pasini 5th and the poleman in 6th. Miguel Oliveira finished 7th ahead of championship leader Franco Morbidelli. Dominique Aegerter and Lorenzo Baldassarri locked aut the top 10, with title contender Tom Luthi only 11th.

In the championship standings, Morbidelli extends his lead to 24 points (256-232). Alex Marquez comes back in 3rd, pushing Oliveira back in 4th (180-166).

photo credit – Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Moto2 Motegi Preview – Can Luthi mantain his supremacy on the Twin Ring Motegi?

Franco Morbidelli arrives in Japan with a 21-point advantage over closest rival Thomas Luthi, who has established himself as a master of the Twin Ring Motegi due to his past performances. With 4 riders matematically in the title fight, a home hero at his final occasion to delight the crowd, few veterans searching for some past glory and some rookies looking to impress, the Moto2 Japanese GP announces to be one for the history books.

Tom Luthi is the en-titre winner at the track. The Swiss rider won here in 2016 after a duel with eventual World Champion Johann Zarco, a win that proved crucial in his dash for the runner-up spot. This year, Luthi already has control over that runner-up spot, but he will be looking for more as the championship lead is only 21 points away. He also triumphed here in 2014 and finished 3rd in 2011 and 2013. During his period in the lightweight class, Luthi scored a 2nd place finish in Motegi in the year in which he clinched his first and, up to now, only World Championship (2005). Will we see a repeat story in 2017?

Championship leader Franco Morbidelli was also on the podium here in 2016, having taken 3rd place from Takaaki Nakagami for a little more than one tenth of a second. The Italian will search for that podium again because, as he found out several times this year, his point lead is vulnerable ahead of an extremely constant Luthi. The Marc VDS rider arrives in Asia with good morale after the stunning win from Aragon, so we can expect Morbidelli to play an important role in the battle for the win.

Still with mathematic chances at clinching the title are Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miguel Oliveira and Morbidelli s teammate, Alex Marquez.

The Portuguese currently sits 3rd, 91 points behind ”Frankie”, with 100 still up for grabs. Mission impossible for Oliveira some might say, but, in 2015, while in Moto3, he managed to take 69 points from Danny Kent across the last 4 races. Of course, Moto3 is not Moto2, 91 is not 69 and Franco Morbidelli is not Danny Kent, but, as we have seen many times in the history of the World Championship, anything can happen. Oliveira arrives in the Land of the Rising Sun after a great performance in Aragon, where he crossed the line in 3rd after having started from pole. Aki Ajo s rider is yet to take a win in the intermmediate class, but that win might come in the Asia-Pacific triple header, a period full of beautiful memories for him. In 2015, he scored two wins and one 2nd place across these 3 races.

As for Alex Marquez, the Spaniard sits 93 points behind his teammate. The younger kid of the Marquez family is travelling a rough period as he has gathered only 2 points across the last 3 GPs. His main goal will be to recover his 3rd place in the standings from Oliveira and to come back to podium ways on the track on which he scored his very first career win. That happened in 2013 in the lightweight class, when, after a hard-fought duel with current MotoGP title contender Maverick Vinales, A. Marquez walked away victorious for only 0.027.

Although these 4 men hold the headlines ahead of the week-end, for the Japanese crowd this race will be all about one man – local hero Takaaki Nakagami. This will be Taka s last representation in front of his home fans in the intermmediate class as from next year we will see him at the board of the LCR Team s Honda in the premier class. Out of the title fight and with a contract assured for 2018, Nakagami has no pressure at all on his shoulders and has all the reasons to bring the best out of him and push for the win – just like he did in Silverstone. Last year at Motegi, he missed out on the podium for less than 2 tenths of a second, so his motivation will be even higher.

Another one to definitely keep our eyes on is veteran Mattia Pasini. The ItalTrans rider came back to podium ways in Aragon. Having battled for the win with Morbidelli, ”Il Paso” fell short for just 0.145. This will surely motivate him even more ahead of the Japanese round, a GP that he has beautiful memories with. He won here in 2007 in the 125cc class after having started from pole position. Simone Corsi will be another interesting veteran to follow this week-end, as this is the venue where the 2008 125cc runner-up scored his very first career podium. This happened very long time ago, in 2004 more exactly, when Corsi battled countrymen Fabrizio Lai and Mirko Giansanti for the 2nd place. He crossed the finish line in 3rd.

Apart from veterans, it will also be much ”fresh blood” lining up with confidence on the Japanese grid. With the ”Rookie of the Year” title pretty much in the bag, Pecco Bagnaia will try to continue his good run of form, as Valentino Rossi s protegee has finished inside the top 5 on 4 of the last 6 races. Brad Binder is also showing signs of improvement, as the 2016 Moto3 World Champion locked out the top 5 in each of the last 2 GPs. Last year he finished 2nd in the Moto3 race, so there are many reasons for whom Binder should play an important role in the battle for top positions.

The Moto2 race is scheduled to kick-off at 12:20 local time (GMT +9) on Sunday.

photo credit – motogp.com

AGR Team retires from the World Championship

After the end of the Aragon GP, the AGR Team announced that they would not take part in the last 4 races of the season. Also, they will not come back in the 2018 season.

This decision leaves Moto3 rider Maria Herrera and Moto2 rider Joe Roberts without a ride for the remaining races of the current season.

Bad luck continues to pursuit Maria Herrera. Before the start of the 2016 season, Team Laglisse, who had signed Maria Herrera as their rider, announced it’s retirement from the championship. However, Herrera took over the operations of Team Laglisse and competed in the championship as an owner-rider of the team. We will see if a similar situation occurs for the last 4 races of 2017.

Joe Roberts raced in only 5 races this season, as he came in the team as a replacement for Yonny Hernandez after the summer break, who was fired due to lack of results. However, Roberts’ future in the class is assured as he signed a contract with RW Racing for 2018.

The AGR Team has competed in the Moto2 World Championship since 2012. Their most succesful year was 2015, when they clinched 2 GP wins, in Qatar and Jerez, and 2 other podium finishes (2nd place in Japan and 3rd in Malaysia). All these results were accomplished by German rider Jonas Folger, who finished 6th in the championship standings in that year.

photo – Folger, racing for AGR Team, crossing the line 1st at the 2015 Spanish GP

photo credit – Motores a Pleno

Italians dominate Day 1 in Aragon with Pasini ahead of Morbidelli

The morning session of the intermmediate class was hit by rain, so the times of the riders were seriously affected. Tom Luthi was unstoppable in the wet conditions, securing P1 for more than 4 tenths of a second ahead of Mattia Pasini.

Unlike FP1, FP2 was held in dry conditions. Obviously, every rider managed to improve on their FP1 time, so the combined standings of the day is given by the FP2 classification.

Mattia Pasini was the fastest man, showing again that he is going to be a serious contender in the pole position battle. He freezed the clock at 1:54.439, 0.194 ahead of compatriot and championship leader Franco Morbidelli. Takaaki Nakagami was third overall, more than half a second behind Pasini.

Sandro Cortese and Simone Corsi showed good pace and locked out the top 5. Miguel Oliveira was pushed in P6 in the dying moments of the session, with Jorge Navarro in 7th as the best rookie.

Having dominated in the wet, Thomas Luthi could not mantain his supremacy on the dry and finished the day 8th overall, more than a second behind Pasini, ahead of Xavi Vierge and Fabio Quartararo.

photo credit – motoblog.it