Cluzel starts Moto2 career with Losail podium repeat

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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Second in the 250cc race in Qatar last year, the Frenchman got his Moto2 World Championship campaign off to a superb start for 2010 at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar by taking third place.

Jules Cluzel began his 2010 Moto2 World Championship title chase with the Forward Racing team with a solid podium in Qatar at the weekend, as he secured third place in the opening round at Losail.

The Frenchman experienced a similar start to his 2009 250cc season when he took second place under the floodlights, and this year he battled hard to ensure he took some immediate Championship points.

“I’m very happy, this is special because I was on the podium last year,” said Cluzel. “At that time nobody knew me. I think that it’s different this time because we all have the same engine. I have a good team and a good chassis but it wasn’t easy because there were 41 of us.”

Off to a blistering start from the second row of the grid, Cluzel led early on in the race and was never outside the leading pack that included eventual race winner Shoya Tomizawa, fellow podium finisher Alex Debón and fourth-placed Toni Elías.

Cluzel’s race was not without its dramas however, as he experienced some technical issues that required added concentration. He said: “I had problems with my front wheel in qualification and I had the same during the race but I focused on finishing. The podium is important and I’m really happy with it. It was a difficult race: I slipped twice and almost fell. After this I said to myself: ‘Okay, remain calm and reach the finish’.”

A battle with Debón for second place ensued at the very end, and Cluzel commented: “I thought I could pass Alex on the last lap but I made an error. Third place is not a bad result. The podium is important. There was a chance for second place, perhaps to win, but Alex and Tomizawa were fast. We will see over the next races but I think we are well placed for the Championship. We will try for the win for the next race.”

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