Career Best Second Place for Morbidelli in Austria
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored a career best second place podium in a fiercely contested Austrian Grand Prix.
The Spielberg shoot-out was a classic Moto2 battle with Morbidelli delivering two superb final lap overtakes to beat fast-finishing rivals Álex Rins and Tom Lüthi.
Morbidelli was in a ruthless mood as he engaged Lüthi in the fight for second, passing his Swiss rival with two superbly timed moves.
Morbidelli had put himself in contention by taking the lead at turn one from the start and holding the advantage until race winner Johann Zarco swept to the front on lap 16.
With Zarco untouchable Morbidelli set himself for his final lap assault as Lüthi and Rins joined the challenge for the podium.
With a stirring sixth place finish Álex Márquez was to back to top form with a fast start from the second row taking him into second behind Morbidelli in the opening laps.
After being bumped wide by the charging Zarco on lap five Márquez elected to consolidate sixth place, his best result of the season to date, and score valuable championship points.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd
“It was a very nice race and better than I expected. I made a great start and was able to lead for 16 laps. But when Johann caught and passed me to take the lead he was very fast and I wasn't able to stay behind him. But then on the final lap I had a big fight with Tom and gave back to him what he did to me in the Qatar, race so it was a nice way to get second place and onto the podium.”
Álex Márquez: 6th
“I made a really good start and trusted myself to get into second behind Franco on the opening lap. I was on the limit so when Zarco passed me with a tough move I lost a little bit of concentration and decided to make sure of sixth place. This was not my target, I wanted a better result but this circuit was not perfect for my style but now we go to two tracks, Brno and Silverstone, which are fast and flowing and my favourites. I am 100% motivated after this result.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today's result is the reward for the hard work we have done during practice and in the test here at Spielberg. But the most important thing is that we saw the real Franco Morbidelli and his ability to fight in a close race, this is why we signed him and confirmation we made the right decision. It was a good result for Álex because in Moto2 anything can happen in the top six positions so his race was very positive I'm very proud of Franco, Álex and the whole team this weekend and it was nice to see Franco and Álex 1-2 in the opening laps. I want to see more of this in the future.”