Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez dominated the Austrian Grand Prix with an impressive one-two at Spielberg today.
It was a superb performance by both riders who resisted race long pressure from Swiss challenger Tom Lüthi who finished third.
More importantly it was a crucial result for Morbidelli in his strengthening campaign to win the Moto2 World Championship.
This was Morbidelli’s seventh victory from 11 races and he is now 26 points ahead of Lüthi in the title chase, with Márquez consolidating third place in the standings.
With seven races remaining Morbidelli has 207 points with Lüthi on 181 and Márquez on 153.
The 25-lap race at the scenic and ultra-fast Spielberg track was a thriller from start to finish.
A feature was Morbidelli’s immaculate race management after taking the lead into turn one from the start and leading almost all the way to the chequered flag.
Morbidelli refused to wilt as both Márquez and Lüthi took turns in applying huge pressure, mostly under braking at turn three, in challenging for victory.
From lap three Márquez was engaged in a tense and at times shoulder-rubbing duel with Lüthi with the Spanish star gaining the advantage to secure second on the podium with two laps remaining.
A late challenge by Miguel Oliveira for the podium ended with the Portuguese rider crashing heavily on lap 21.
The last time Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS staged a 1-2 result in Moto2 was at the Grand Prix of San Marino in 2014 with Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio. Rabat went on to win that year’s Moto2 world title.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“This is a crucial victory for me in the championship and comes at the perfect moment after my poor result in Brno last weekend. I came here focussed to do a good job and although we started slowly on Friday my team worked very well and gave me a great package to go for the victory. I’m very happy for this win and thanks to everyone for their support.”
Álex Márquez: 2nd
“I had a lot of fun in this race especially the fight with Tom, which was very close. Late in the race I thought I had a chance to challenge Franco for the win but I made a small mistake at turn three and lost the gap to him. But I am very happy to be on the podium, it has not been an easy weekend at this track so this is an important result for me.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a fantastic race. You cannot do better than first and second, so a great performance by Franco and Álex. It was an important result for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS because both our riders were ahead of Tom Lüthi for championship points so I am very happy with this. I give my best wishes to Miguel Oliveira who appears to be OK after what was a nasty looking crash.”
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