Moto2 rider Tetsuta Nagashima won an emotional victory at the Qatar Grand Prix. Ten years after his compatriot Shoya Tomizawa celebrated his first victory in the new Moto2 class in the same place, the Japanese won 1.347 seconds over the competition.
For Nagashima, who is driving a Kalex in the Aki Ajo team this season, it is not only the first victory, but also the first time ever on the podium. The Parc ferme was reminiscent of Tomizawa, who died in 2010 and whom he knew well.
“Shoya was like a brother to me. When I started racing, we were a lot together. He taught me a lot. I also remember his win here. It is incredible that I got my first win the same route. I’m very happy, “said the race winner in tears.
In a strong final phase, he had left Lorenzo Baldassarri and Enea Bastianini behind, who completed the Kalex podium in Qatar. “I expected a good race, but not one like that,” said Baldassarri about second place.
“It was like a Moto3 race. Not quite as crazy, but difficult because we fought a lot. I felt comfortable with the bike and tried to do my best and not make mistakes. Thanks to my team because the tests were difficult. I was worried, but now I’m happy. “
After finishing third, Bastianini made it clear: “I am back! I am very satisfied with this race. A podium is always very nice. I was not so quick on the straight. That was why overtaking was very difficult. I am very satisfied with the result We will see what we can do at the next races. “
Due to the cancellation of the MotoGP race, Moto2 started later than originally planned, namely at 6 p.m. local time and therefore under floodlights. With the tires, almost everyone had opted for the softer compound at the front and rear. Only five drivers, including pole-setter Joe Roberts (Kalex) drove the harder version on the rear wheel.
Luca Marini (Kalex) and took the lead in the first corner, but was unable to maintain the position and lost the top spot to Bastianini in lap one. Pole man Roberts held third place but got pressure from Jorge Martin (Kalex).
Already in the second round the leadership changed back to Marini, who was initially unable to break away. Bastianini, Roberts, Martin and Baldassarri also kept up. For Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) the race was already over. He crashed in turn 6, to blame was contact with Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta).
While the extended leading group included seven drivers after four laps, the IntactGP duo had already lost touch. Tom Luthi (Kalex) was able to advance from 18th to 13th place, but was five seconds behind. His teammate Marcel SchrOtter was only in 15th place.
At the top, Roberts made a first attack on Marini, who continued to lead, at the start of the seventh round, but had to retreat. As a result, Marini was able to distance herself from the rest of the field. In the middle of the race of the 200 laps, he had gained a lead of one second.
Roberts remained in second place, while there were repeated position battles in the chasing group. Nagashima, who fought his way round after round and slowly sniffed the podium, was also involved.
In the second half of the race, the top field moved closer together again. The top 6 from Marini, Roberts, Baldassarri, Nagashima, Bastianini and Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) separated in just a second. Now it should show who had handled the tires best and had saved enough grains for the final phase.
At the start of the fifth-last lap, Marini not only lost his lead after a mistake, but also lost several places and finally found himself at the end of the top group. Baldassarri took command at the front, but had to defend himself from attacks by Bastianini and Nagashima.
The latter dropped the hammer three laps before the end of the race, passed Baldassarri and worked out a gap within a very short time. This made it impossible for Baldassarri and Bastianini to catch up with, but they secured a podium.
Roberts had to settle for fourth place in the end. Remy Gardner (Kalex) moved up to fifth place with a strong final phase, followed by speed-up pilot Navarro. SchrOtter made it into the top 10 as seventh, as did Luthi, who finished tenth behind Aron Canet (Speed Up) and Xavi Vierge (Kalex).
For Marini, on the other hand, it was only backwards after his long lead. He probably had too much wear on his tires, only dropped out of the top 10 and went down after a collision with Jake Dixon (Kalex) in the last lap. Besides him and Fernandez, Marcos Ramirez and Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (both Kalex) also did not see the checkered flag.