Moto2: Oliveira breaks Italian hearts as Pasini tumbles

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Miguel Oliveira has given KTM their first Moto2 win of the 2018 season at Mugello, taking a victory over Lorenzo Baldassarri in the Italian Grand Prix despite severe pressure from his local opposition throughout the race.

The KTM rider make a strong start but wasn’t able to oust 2017 race winner Mattia Pasini from the lead – until a tumble for the Italian crushed local hopes of a repeat performance from the Italtrans Kalex rider. That left Oliveira to defend his lead until the end, something he was able to manage despite pressure from Baldassarri, Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia.

"Starting from so far back on the grid, I knew I had to make a good start. I pushed my hardest on the first lap and, shortly after, I was already up into third. Pasini was very strong and very fast, but I saw that I had a chance to win the race and, simply, I decided to go for it. Baldassarri also had a great pace, and I fought with him until the last lap. It was a very fun and spectacular battle.

“I am very happy to have taken this victory that we had been chasing since the beginning of the season. I have to thank the team because they worked really hard, and from FP3 to qualifying we had to change the bike almost completely; in the end, it worked out very well."

Alex Marquez was the best of the rest in fifth, with the rest of the stretched-out top ten filled by Brad Binder, Luca Marini, Andrea Locatelli, Xavi Vierge and Simone Corsi. Both Brits failed to finish the race, with Sam Lowes crashing out as he tried to recover from being knocked to the gravel in the opening turns, while Danny Kent put the blame for his fall on technical problems.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer