Polaris world Aprilia’s Mattia Pasini made a dream start to his 250GP career by winning on his debut at a floodlit Losail Circuit in Qatar.
The Italian rode a soundly throughout the race and looked set to grab himself the last podium spot until the story of a Hector Barbera and Alex Debon one-two took a turn two laps from the end to see Pasini glide through for the lead.
And with Debon still shaken from losing a top two finish KTM rider Mika Kallio also might use of the chance to grab himself third place.
Luthi took the lead on lap one and he, Mika Kallio and Alvaro Bautista soon broke away from the rest of the field.
Bautista passed Kallio as lap two started to move up to second.
Spain’s Manuel Hernandez and Ireland’s Eugene Laverty’s races were over on lap two as the pair came together and crashed out of the race.
Alvaro Bautista had taken the lead at the end of lap two with Luthi demoted back to second and Barbera third.
Early leader Thomas Luthi was forced to do a ride-through penalty as he jumped the start and when he rode through the pits at the end of lap four, he lost 17 places.
Up front on lap six his left Alvaro Bautista leading with Hector Barbera and pole man Alex Debon in second and third respectively.
On lap seven the race was on between Bautista and Barbera. The pair were swapping places throughout the course of the next few laps while Alex Debon made it a Spanish and Aprilia top three.
Mattia Pasini, in his first 250 race after stepping up from 125s this season, snapped third off Debon at the first corner of lap 10.
But by lap 10 it looked like Team Toth Aprilia’s Hector Barbera had settled in to the lead and he and Bautista then set about creating a gap back to the next group which was led by Mattia Pasini. And by the end of lap 12 there was more than two seconds already.
Marco Simoncelli crashed out of the race and Lucas Pesek was the next casualty also taking a trip to the gravel trap.
On lap 13 Alex Debon had put himself back in to podium contention by heading up to second past Pasini and Bautista.
And 250 rookie Mattia Pasini was within a shout of a podium spot on lat 14 as he took third place.
With just over a lap left Alex Debon got the excitement going again by taking Barbera’s lead. But at the next corner he lost it back to the experienced Spaniard and in a twist of events as the pair recovered from their dalliance Mattia Pasini shot through to take the lead.
And Pasini’s dream start to his 250GP career became real as the rookie took his first 250 race win on his debut. He is the first debutant to win since Dani Pedrosa’s 250 career started with a win in South Africa in 2004.
Qatar MotoGP 250 race results:
1 Mattia PASINI ITA Polaris World APRILIA 40'16.202
2 Hector BARBERA SPA Team Toth Aprilia APRILIA 40'16.759
3 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM 250 KTM 40'17.231
4 Alex DEBON SPA Lotus Aprilia APRILIA 40'17.620
5 Yuki TAKAHASHI JPN JiR Team Scot 250 HONDA 40'29.146
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team APRILIA 40'30.682
7 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing APRILIA 40'32.923
8 Roberto LOCATELLI ITA Metis Gilera GILERA 40'35.189
9 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Lotus Aprilia APRILIA 40'48.434
10 Hector FAUBEL SPA Mapfre Aspar Team APRILIA 40'57.304
11 Julian SIMON SPA Repsol KTM 250cc KTM 40'57.659
12 Fabrizio LAI ITA Campetella Racing GILERA 40'57.896
13 Ratthapark WILAIROT THA Thai Honda PTT SAG HONDA 40'59.394
14 Manuel POGGIALI RSM Campetella Racing GILERA 41'00.430
15 Thomas LUTHI SWI Emmi - Caffe Latte APRILIA 41'04.962 157.146 48.760
16 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Red Bull KTM 250 KTM 41'27.233 155.739 1'11.031
17 Doni Tata PRADITA INA Yamaha Pertamina Indonesia YAMAHA 42'21.663 152.404 2'05.461
Alex BALDOLINI ITA Matteoni Racing APRILIA 28'44.567 (6 laps)
Lukas PESEK CZE Auto Kelly - CP APRILIA 24'22.590 (8 laps)
Marco SIMONCELLI ITA Metis Gilera GILERA 14'20.281 (13 laps)
Imre TOTH HUN Team Toth Aprilia APRILIA 8'33.203 (16 laps)
Not finished first lap
Manuel HERNANDEZ SPA Blusens Aprilia APRILIA
Eugene LAVERTY IRL Blusens Aprilia APRILIA