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EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Alex Marquez was nothing short of perfect for the third Grand Prix in a row by dominating the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya and securing a hat-trick of Moto2™ victories. A crash for title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) also means Marquez now leads the World Championship.
The Catalan had to work home success, though, after being pushed wide at the first corner whilst Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) took the holeshot ahead of him thanks to a lightening start from second on the grid. Lüthi was joined by the poleman Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40) as the leading duo began to break clear in the opening stages.
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In 10 mins: Catalan GP Moto2™ highlights
Behind them, Marquez began to pick his way through the pack by elevating himself to fifth on lap two and then claiming a further two places the following lap. Once up to third, he set his sights on Lüthi and Fernandez over one and a half seconds ahead of him.
After claiming a debut pole position, Fernandez was eager for a debut race win and hit the front with five laps completed with a smooth move on the brakes into Turn 10. The Swiss rider behind him quickly retaliated though by slipstreaming his way past down the start-finish straight; all allowing Marquez to close in on the fight for victory.
Marquez first made his move on Fernandez and ominously sat behind Lüthi, watching and waiting. Then Championship leader Baldassarri dramatically crashed out at Turn 10, meaning Lüthi and Marquez were fighting for more than just a race win, suddenly there was a Championship lead up for grabs.
Meanwhile in the fight for the final podium place behind, class rookie Fabio DiGiannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) had a debut podium finish in his sights after diving up the inside of Fernandez. However, just a lap later whilst trying to break clear, the front end washed away from the young Italian bringing a disappointing end to a strong weekend.
Ten laps remaining and Marquez had his first look at taking the race lead but decided against it. That would turn out to be a dress rehearsal as a lap later he hit the front with Lüthi unable to find any form of reply. The 23-year-old would take the chequered flag nearly two seconds clear and with it the new Championship lead, seven clear of Lüthi.
In the fight for the last place on the Catalan GP podium, Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) would come out on top after breaking clear of Fernandez in the final stages of the race.
Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) secured a top five finish, a best Moto2™ result to date for the rookie. SKY Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini got the better of Dynavolt Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter for sixth place, with Marquez’s EG 0,0 Marc VDS teammate not too far behind in eighth.
Rounding out the top ten were Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), who drifted backwards after a strong start, and Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), who offered some smiles to his camp after teammate Remy Gardner tumbled on the opening lap.
1. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
2. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 1.989
3. Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) + 2.532
4. Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) + 3.802
5. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 7.472
6. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 13.996
7. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 14.565
8. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 14.953
9. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 15.898
10. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 17.947
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