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Motegi Moto2: Luthi wins, Zarco extends points lead as rivals crash

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Motegi Moto2: Luthi wins, Zarco extends points lead as rivals crash
By:
Oct 16, 2016, 4:34 AM

Thomas Luthi scored his third win of the Moto2 season at Motegi, managing to keep a charging championship leader Johann Zarco at bay.

Second place Thomas Lüthi, Interwetten
Takaaki Nakagami, Honda Team Asia
Thomas Lüthi, Interwetten
Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS
Simone Corsi, Speed Up Racing
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Marcel Schrotter, AGR Team
Sandro Cortese, Dynavolt IntactGP
Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS
Danny Kent, Leopard Racing
Xavier Simeon, QMMF Racing Team
Takaaki Nakagami, Honda Team Asia
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport

Luthi took the lead of the race at the start, with polesitter Zarco dropping to fourth behind Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami.

Drama ensued as both title contenders Alex Rins and Sam Lowes crashed unaided in separate incidents. While Rins continued, Lowes retired immediately.

It was then for Zarco to make it to the chequered flag and score strongly to stretch his lead in the standings.

But the French rider was in no mood to settle for fourth, clearing both Nakagami and Morbidelli midway in the race, before setting of in pursuit of Luthi.

Soon, Zarco was all over the back of the Interwetten rider, who was forced to defend his lead in the final two laps.

But Luthi had just enough in hand in the end to win, as Zarco ended 0.386s behind in second.

Meanwhile, the fight for third heated up between Morbidelli and Nakagami in the final stages of the race.

Going into the final lap, Morbidelli was just ahead of Nakagami, but the Japanese rider for the briefest of moments took third before the Italian switched back to re-take the position.

The two crossed the line nose-to-tail, Morbidelli just managing to edge out Nakagami to take the final podium spot.

Behind the top four, Sandro Cortese ended a distant fifth, the German registering his best result of the 2016 season. His Dynavolt teammate and future MotoGP rider Jonas Folger was another man to crash out.

Simone Corsi got the better of fellow grand prix veterans Mattia Pasini and Julian Simon in a close fight for sixth, while the top 10 was completed by Marcel Schrotter and Xavier Simeon.

Going into the final three races of the season, Zarco now has a lead of 21 points over Rins and 60 on Lowes.

Race results:

Pos#DriverBikeLapsTimeGap
1 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex 23 42'45.854  
2 5 Johann Zarco Kalex 23 42'46.240 0.386
3 21 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 23 42'51.717 5.863
4 30 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 23 42'51.944 6.090
5 11 Sandro Cortese Kalex 23 43'02.100 16.246
6 24 Simone Corsi Speed Up 23 43'06.258 20.404
7 54 Mattia Pasini Kalex 23 43'06.537 20.683
8 60 Julian Simon Speed Up 23 43'06.614 20.760
9 23 Marcel Schrötter Kalex 23 43'10.248 24.394
10 19 Xavier Simeon Speed Up 23 43'12.967 27.113
11 97 Xavi Vierge Tech 3 23 43'16.012 30.158
12 10 Luca Marini Kalex 23 43'18.137 32.283
13 55 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 23 43'18.245 32.391
14 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 23 43'21.202 35.348
15 32 Isaac Viñales Tech 3 23 43'21.340 35.486
16 57 Edgar Pons Kalex 23 43'25.412 39.558
17 2 Jesko Raffin Kalex 23 43'25.544 39.690
18 14 Ratthapark Wilairot Kalex 23 43'31.112 45.258
19 87 Remy Gardner Kalex 23 43'33.764 47.910
20 40 Alex Rins Kalex 23 43'50.577 1'04.723
21 63 Naomichi Uramoto Kalex 23 43'51.770 1'05.916
22 84 Taro Sekiguchi TSR 23 44'12.490 1'26.636
  27 Iker Lecuona Kalex 14 28'33.840 9 laps
  49 Axel Pons Kalex 13 25'00.833 10 laps
  7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 10 18'46.958 13 laps
  73 Alex Marquez Kalex 7 13'10.554 16 laps
  52 Danny Kent Kalex 7 13'16.815 16 laps
  94 Jonas Folger Kalex 4 7'35.764 19 laps
  22 Sam Lowes Kalex 1 1'58.138 22 laps
  70 Robin Mulhauser Kalex 1 2'04.260 22 laps
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