Magic Morbidelli wins at Aragon
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored his eighth and most important win of the season so far in the Moto2 race at the Motorland Circuit in Aragon today.
A nerveless Morbidelli held off a last lap attack from Italian rival Mattia Pasini in a breathtaking conclusion to the 21-lap race.
It was a magical performance by Morbidelli who made his race-winning move on Pasini at turn nine on the final lap.
Morbidelli had taken control of the front running from the end of lap one but refused to take a cautious approach for the championship when Pasini mounted his late race challenge.
The victory was the perfect response by Morbidelli to the setback of crashing out of the previous race in Misano, which compromised his world championship campaign.
The 22-year-old Italian has now moved 21 points ahead nearest rival Tom Lüthi who finished fourth today.
Unfortunately Álex Márquez’s physical condition did not allow him to capitalise on his brilliant front row qualifying position.
The local favourite was forced to retire from the race after experiencing numbness in his left leg due to the hip injury sustained two weeks ago in Misano.
In the early laps Márquez had settled in third place in a brave bid for a podium finish but made the wise decision to retire and regain full fitness for the next race in Japan in three weeks.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“Nothing changed with my approach today, I raced as I always do, giving the maximum and this is what came out. I tried to push at the beginning and open a gap but then Pasini was closing fast and I had a decision to make. Stay calm and ride for the championship or fight. I kept fighting and went for the win so this victory gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“The pain was not the main problem it was that my leg was going to sleep because of the swelling in my hip and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Before the race I knew this could happen; I decided to try but it was not possible to finish the race in this condition. Now I need to recover and be ready for the next race in Japan.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Before the race I spoke with Franco and said make a safe race and control Lüthi for the points in the championship. Of course he did the exact opposite! Afterwards when you have the win it is a really nice feeling but for many laps it was a very hard and tense fight against Pasini. If Franco had been conservative today you could not have blamed him, but he did a great job and made up for the zero points from Misano. Before the race I thought if Álex could make the distance with his physical condition then sixth place would have been a good result but it was the best decision for Álex to stop early.”