Strong ride for Rabat earns Qatar victory

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Despite a difficult first lap for pole man Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) he produced an otherwise excellent ride in Qatar to win on the last corner.

Rabat’s teammate Mika Kallio was third in the race, though second place finisher Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) was later disqualified for the use of a non-regulation air filter.

Rabat aims to win the title this year after emerging as a Moto2™ race winner last season and he looked threatening throughout the Qatar weekend, ultimately beating Nakagami to the line by 0.04s after they had battled for the lead for several laps. Rabat ran wide on the first lap and dropped to fifth but had too much for his closest rivals over the 20 lap contest, coming back well to take win.

His colleague Kallio will also be looking for wins in 2014 having finished a second behind the front two, eventually being moved up to second due to Nakagami’s disqualification.

Three seconds behind Kallio was Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), the Swiss rider crossing the line three tenths ahead of Moto3 World Champion Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) who made an excellent Moto2™ debut.

Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) ran well from 10th on the grid beating debutant Sam Lowes (Speed Up) who also performed solidly in his first Grand Prix, their final results being classified as fifth and sixth.

The top ten was completed by Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) and Louis Rossi (SAG Team).

A disastrous start for the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing team saw Josh Herrin and Johann Zarco crash on the first lap, with Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) also involved.

Gino Rea and Mashel Al Naimi had stopped mid-race with technical problems, whilst with 8 laps to go in Axel Pons and Marcel Schrotter crashed out.

Dominique Aegerter pulled off with 5 laps to go, smoke pouring from his exhaust, ending his 33 race run of consistent point scoring finishes. Nico Terol was also affected by mechanical problems at a similar stage of the race and he will look to bounce back next time out at the Circuit of the Americas where he won last year.

TAGS Qatar

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