2018 Grand Prix of Qatar: Bagnaia Wins Moto2

Francesco Bagnaia - Pic from MotoGP.com
  • Francesco Bagnaia held off Lorenzo Baldassari to win the first Moto2 race of the 2018 MotoGP season.

  • Poleman Alex Marquez had to accept third place due to a brake problem.

  • Other than that, the race had been processional.

Just when the first Moto2 race of the year seemed like another procession, a mechanical problem threw the race open.

Francesco Bagnaia, Lorenzo Baldassarri and pole sitter Alex Marquez (younger brother of Marc) took off into the lead a few corners after the start as the rest fell behind.

Bagnaia managed to pull out an early gap and started riding at a consistently high pace, leaving Baldassarri and Marquez to battle it out. Indeed, the pursuing duo started to trade places, including three times in one lap before Marquez prevailed. He started chasing down Bagnaia.

Alex Marquez – Pic from MotoGP.com

With just a handful of laps to go, Marquez went straight past a corner, letting Baldassarri through. It was soon apparent that Marquez’s rear brake was glowing red hot, signaling that it had jammed.

Baldasasarri then hunted down Bagnaia; catching and then passing into the lead on the last lap. But he went wide at the exit and Bagnaia repassed and held on all the way to the finish line to win.

Lorenzo Baldassari – Pic from MotoGP.com

Marquez continued to struggle with the stuck rear brake and was in danger of falling victim to Mattia Passini. Fortunately, the glowing went away in the last two laps and Marquez pulled away to maintain his third place on the podium.

Behind him, Passini finished in fourth, followed by the KTMs of Miguel Oliviera and Brad Binder. The much-fangled late charge of the KTMs due to their rear tyre preserving qualities failed to materialize.

Miguel Oliviera – Pic from MotoGP.com
Pos. Points Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 40’19.802
2 20 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Pons HP40 Kalex +0.112
3 16 Alex MARQUEZ SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +5.625
4 13 Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +6.657
5 11 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM +10.296
6 10 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM +10.344
7 9 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +11.419
8 8 Xavi VIERGE SPA Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +11.516
9 7 Luca MARINI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +20.690
10 6 Jorge NAVARRO SPA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +20.961
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