Franco Morbidelli has finally broken his Moto2 duck by doing what he threatened to do in the second half of the 2016 season and taking a dominant victory in the opening race of 2017 at the Qatar Grand Prix.
The Brazilian-Italian racer never put a foot wrong during Sunday’s race, getting to the front early on and never looking back as he disappeared into the distance, eventually taking victory over Thomas Lüthi by 2.6 seconds only after backing off in the closing stages of the 20-lap race.
"This first victory is a great sensation after all this time, it is really amazing that I confirm that I am capable of winning races. My pace was really strong and I was pulling away from the others once I got ahead of Lüthi and had a clear track, so it did not feel like a difficult race. The main thing today was to bring to the track what I had in my mind, that I could win here after such a strong preseason of testing and practice in Qatar.”
And despite Marc VDS teammate Alex Rins having a more difficult race to eventually fade from second on the grid back to fifth, team boss Michael Bartholemy says that there’s a huge amount of positives for both riders to take from the weekend.
"This is a great moment for our team because our last victory was at Valencia in 2015. Today was the day that Franco delivered on his potential by taking his first pole position and victory in this race. Franco’s rhythm was very impressive and with his pace this win was his for the taking. For Álex I am not disappointed he learnt a lot from this race and I am sure we will see him on the front row again and challenging for the podium in Argentina.”
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