Solid foundation for 2020 after catch-up battle in Doha
Marcel Schrötter and Tom Lüthi showed a strong catch-up at the season opener in Qatar and took home 15 championship points for the LIQUI MOLY Intact GP team after finishing seventh and tenth.
This puts the Moto2 team in fourth place of the team ranking after the first race of the 2020 season.
Marcel Schrötter knew from qualifying that he had the necessary speed to be able to catch up from the 13th grid position. In the scramble of the first rounds of the Qatar Grand Prix, however, there was a small collision causing the 27-year-old to drop a few positions backward. In the subsequent duel with the Italian Fabio DiGiannantonio, he continued to lose valuable time, and his pace was not yet at the same level as the day before.
Marcel Schrötter started to get really going again from lap nine and was eventually one of the fastest riders in the field alongside race winner Tetsuta Nagashima. This helped him to leave some competitors behind, including his teammate. Finally, he finished in seventh place. The gap to the top was only 4.4 seconds and that makes the team confident for the next race, which is set to take place in Austin, Texas from April 3-5.
After having struggled all weekend, Tom Lüthi had to face the Hercules task of riding a motorcycle that was changed completely prior to the race. He had to get used to his new machine in no time and under the enormous pressure of the race, but he did not disappoint. Coming from 18th position in row six, he managed to make up eight places on the Losail Circuit.
Of course, Tom Lüthi had envisioned more than a tenth place in the opening GP before coming to Doha, but given the difficult days of testing and the race weekend, the result was a comforting conclusion. The Swiss now hopes that the races will continue soon and that he can attack again at the Circuit of the Americas at the latest.
1. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA / JPN / KALEX
2. Lorenzo BALDASSARRI / ITA / KALEX
3. Enea BASTIANINI / ITA / KALEX
7. Marcel SCHROTTER / GER / KALEX
10. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX
1. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA / JPN / KALEX - 1'59.565
2. Jorge NAVARRO / SPA / SPEED UP - 1'59.727 (+0.162)
3. Joe ROBERTS / USA / KALEX - 1'59.845 (+0.280)
9. Marcel SCHROTTER / GER / KALEX - 1'59.949 (+0.384)
16. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 2'00.300 (+0.735)
World Championship Standings:
1. NAGASHIMA Tetsuta / JPN / 25
2. BALDASSARRI Lorenzo / ITA / 20
3. BASTIANINI Enea / ITA / 16
4. ROBERTS Joe / USA / 13
5. GARDNER Remy / AUS / 11
6. NAVARRO Jorge / SPA / 10
7. SCHROTTER Marcel / GER / 9
8. CANET Aron / SPA / 8
9. VIERGE Xavi / SPA / 7
10. LUTHI Thomas / SWI / 6
11. BENDSNEYDER Bo / NED / 5
12. BEZZECCHI Marco / ITA / 4
13. DI GIANNANTONIO Fabio / ITA / 3
14. DIXON Jake / GBR / 2
15. MANZI Stefano / ITA / 1
1. RED BULL KTM AJO / 25
2. FLEXBOX HP 40 / 20
3. ITALTRANS RACING TEAM / 16
4. LIQUI MOLY INTACT GP / 15
5. AMERICAN RACING / 13
6. BETA TOOLS SPEED UP / 13
7. ONEXOX TKKR SAG TEAM / 11
8. PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING / 9
9. ASPAR TEAM / 8
10. NTS RW RACING GP / 5
11. SKY RACING TEAM VR46 / 4
12. MV AGUSTA FORWARD RACING / 1