Qatar Moto2: Folger wins war of attrition

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Jonas Folger has inherited his first Moto2 win after a battle of attrition that saw many of the pre-race favourites fall by the wayside.

It was pre-race favourites Sam Lowes and Johann Zarco who led off the line, immediately clearing off at the front to pull out a lead over the first few laps. A small mistake dropped the Brit back behind on the second lap, but Lowes, the only rider to start the race on soft tyres, looked comfortable as his team urged him to relax his pace.

However, it all went wrong for the race on lap four, with Lowes making a mistake, running wide, and crashing out of the race. His accident opened the floodgates, with reigning world champion Tito Rabat, Simone Corsi, Luis Salom and Alex Pons all joining him in the gravel.

From there on, it looked like a done deal for Zarco, as he pulled clear by some eight seconds. However, the drama was far from done, and a broken gear linkage left the Frenchman slipping back down the field with only three laps to go.

He was also lucky to avoid disaster, after coming within inches of colliding with pit wall after losing concentration figuring out what had gone wrong.

Folger had done his work, though, and eventually took the win from Xavier Simeon by XXX.

“To be honest, I cannot believe I just won the race! I’m so happy; I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what happened to Johann, but he made a big mistake on the straight, and I’m happy my rhythm let me win.”

Third was Thomas Luthi, who only just held off Alex Rins on his Moto2 debut.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer