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A 20 second penalty for a jump-start demotes Franco Morbidelli from a potential second place finish to seventh in Qatar.
The start of the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar saw eight riders jump the start, several riders causing a chain reaction at the open of the race. While many were called to perform a ride through penalty early in the race, Franco Morbidelli’s penalty did not come until the closing laps. As such the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS man went about racing Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) as he would in any other race, the pair sparring for victory a comfortable nine seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. Try as he might; Morbidelli was unable to beat Luthi as the Swiss rider beat him to the line by just 0.047s.
After swallowing the bitter pill of defeat, Morbidelli was handed the even more difficult news that he had been pushed down to seventh due to the penalty. The decision was not protested by his team. But, Morbidelli is content with the result; he was able to battle for victory in his first race with a new team. During testing the Italian struggled to find his feet inside the new squad, but come race day everything turned around. The Moto2™ World Championship now has a weekend off before the second round of 2016 in Argentina.
Franco Morbidelli: “I made a really good race and I was fighting for the victory for the whole race and led for nine laps. I'm very happy about this in my first race with a new team. Unfortunately I had a problem at the start, a lot of riders around me moved, and in that moment it is a reflex reaction so I also moved. I'm sorry for this but we must take the positives. I was fast and fighting for the win and we must take this to the next race in Argentina."
3 years ago