All riders have dreamt of winning flag to flag. And, today, on home turf, Álex Márquez (Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS) made this dream come true. The pole sitter stormed to victory at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de Moto2™ and trimmed the gap on overall leader Franco Morbidelli, who wound up only 6th . Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Thomas Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completed the podium.
When the rubber hit the road, Márquez proved he had diligently done his homework. He claimed pole position with an outstanding pace in practice. The big question mark was whether his hegemony would extend to the race as well.
A lightning start helped him pass through the dangerous first braking point with ease. Behind, Luthi, Pasini and Morbidelli almost touched in the first turn, and the Swiss run off to avoid going down. None of those involved in the incident were able to get into Marquez’s slipstream. And thus, the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion pulled away, building his lead and clocking the first lap 9 tenths earlier than his rivals. Second time over the line, and with a blistering fastest 1m 49.712s lap under his belt, he was already 2 seconds ahead.
The younger Márquez then focused on setting a good rhythm and riding flawlessly. Behind, Morbidelli and Luthi were busy in their own two-horse race, while Pasini soared to second and rode off.
Álex Márquex kept going despite tyre wear and track temperatures of 50ºC in some areas, and amassed a 4 second gap with 14 laps to go. From then on, the Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider administered his advantage to cross the finish line unchallenged. After Jerez, this is Márquez’s second victory this season.
On the podium, he was flanked by Pasini, who came in 3.5 seconds behind him, and Luthi one second slower. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) wound up 4th, ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri, fifth for Forward Racing Team, while Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) finished 6th and 7th. The spectacular battle for 8th included Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team), who settled for 9th and 13th fastest.
After the seventh round of the season, Morbidelli holds the overall lead, with Luthi trailing him closely by 7 points, and Márquez only 20 points away. But the Catalan is eagerly encouraged by statistics: since 203, all Moto2™ winners at the Catalan Grand Prix moved on to be crowned at the end of the championship.