Morbidelli continues winning streak in Texas
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli continued his stunning winning streak in the Moto2 World Championship with a dominant victory in Texas today.
Morbidelli’s win in the Grand Prix of The Americas completes a hat trick of victories to open the 2017 season, adding to wins in Qatar and Argentina.
Morbidelli is the first rider to win the opening three races in the intermediate class since Daijiro Katoh in 2001. Katoh won the 250cc World Championship that season.
After leading from pole position at the start Morbidelli had a tight battle with teammate Álex Márquez who also shared the lead before running wide at turn five and dropping to fourth.
That left Morbidelli unchallenged for the victory in sunny and warm conditions apart from a brief mid-race surge from Tom Lüthi who finished second, 2.6s behind.
Morbidelli was untouchable in Texas taking pole position, race win and the fastest lap with a new record for the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas of 2’09.948.
Birthday boy Márquez, who turned 21 today, suffered a disappointing end to the race as he rode through the pain barrier with arm pump. He settled for fourth place and championship points after a thrilling battle with Takaaki Nakagami who claimed the final podium position.
Morbidelli has a maximum score of 75 points after three rounds with the European section of the season starting next week with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Márquez heads to his home race with 24 points and sixth place in the standings.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“This is a great moment for me and the team, we are in fantastic shape for the championship and I hope we can continue in this way. It was a nice battle with Álex early and then I tried pulling away and got a 1.5s gap and thought to just control the race. But I messed around too much and then I saw 0.5s to Lüthi so I decided to push all the way to the finish. I forgot about trying to control the race and just went for the win.”
Álex Maárquez: 4th
“The mistake early in the race was a key moment for me but then also towards the end I struggled a lot with arm pump, the layout of this track is not easy for me. But I am happy to get fourth and good points for the championship. To be honest when I saw my pace in practice I was a little surprised, this is not a good track for my style but I am positive going to the next race in Jerez. It would have been nice to win on my birthday but you have to control your emotions and score points.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It is great for Franco and the team to win three consecutive races and to score maximum points before we start the European part of the championship. Alex rode a good race and fourth is nice result for him, it was important for him to finish the race. I am going home with a smile on my face after this result from our Moto2 team.”