Morbidelli extends championship lead at Silverstone
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli extended his lead in the Moto2 World Championship with a calculating ride into third place at Silverstone today.
This was Morbidelli’s eighth podium in 12 races this season and he has gone 29 points ahead of nearest challenger Tom Lüthi who finished fourth.
But the British Grand Prix was a race of changing fortunes for Morbidelli and teammate Álex Márquez.
The pair dominated the race for 11 laps, swapping the lead out front as they raced clear of the pack after making perfect starts from the front row.
As the pair raced in tandem Márquez’s winning chances ended when he lost the front and slid out of the lead at The Loop on lap eleven.
Márquez re-joined the race in 16th position and soldiered on to finished 14th picking up two world championship points, an undeserving reward for his race pace.
Morbidelli inherited the lead with Márquez’s exit but only for a lap when he was passed by eventual race winner Takaaki Nakagami.
With rear grip and technical issues on a bumpy Silverstone Circuit in sunny and warm conditions Morbidelli could not hold off the late race challenge of Mattia Pasini. However Morbidelli picked up crucial championship points with his third place.
Morbidelli set the fastest lap and new circuit record of 2’06’690 on lap three of the 18-lap race.
Franco Morbidelli: 3rd
“I really wanted to win this race but unfortunately I had some problems including a drop-off in rear grip after I took the lead when Álex crashed. It was fun fighting with Álex from the start but after Nakagami passed me I decided to settle for the podium and some points. In Moto2 anything can happen so I need to keep attacking in the coming races but the good point today was to increase my lead over Tom Lüthi in the championship.”
Álex Márquez: 14th
“The crash was completely my mistake, I was a little wide in the corner before and then into the Loop I was too tight and crashed. I did a really good start and was riding a strong race and happy to be leading, but to only score two points is not a good result for all the effort by the team. We need to accept this now and move on to Misano.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was looking good for another one-two finish for our team as we had a nice gap to the riders behind. Unfortunately a small mistake from Álex cost him the chance of victory. Just after Franco took the lead he had a clutch problem and that cost him a chance to fight for the win in the final laps. I hope we can find a solution before the next race to protect our lead in the championship. But we should be happy with third position because Franco extended his advantage in the standings before heading to his home race in Misano.”