Marquez denies Espargaro in thrilling last-lap Estoril duel
Marc Marquez denied Pol Espargaro victory as Moto2's race at Estoril came down to a thrilling last-lap conclusion
Having trailed Marquez for the final seven laps, Espargaro (Pons Kalex) launched his attack as the pair headed into Turn 1 for the final time.
Espargaro took the lead on the inside but ran deep, allowing Marquez (Monlau Suter) to cut-back and steal ahead.
Two turns later the sequence was repeated: Espargaro diving down the inside at Turn 3, only to lose out once again to Marquez on the exit. He had the inside line though for Turn 4 and was again into the lead, only for Marquez to once again beat him on the exit.
Still not defeated, Espargaro barrelled down the inside at the Turn 10 hairpin but this time went too deep and almost lost the bike. He was able to recover, but Marquez slipped through and was able to cruise the final corners and collect his second victory of the season.
"It was so difficult," Marquez said. "I tried to save my tyres, and step by step got more comfortable but then last laps were so difficult, Pol was so strong. On the last lap I tried to close the door, give 100 per cent and I think it was a great race. You enjoy victories like this a little bit more."
Thomas Luthi (Paddock Suter) finished third, having led for the majority of the race before Marquez and Espargaro picked him off eight laps from the end.
Johann Zarco (JIR Motobi) was a relatively quiet fourth ahead of Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Speed Up), who had been part of an early lead quintet until running too deep into Turn 10 in the first half of the race.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex) was the fifth part of that battle, only to drop rapidly as he struggled for pace late on.
Alex de Angelis (Forward Suter) triumphed in a tight battle for sixth, edging out Toni Elias (Aspar Suter) and Julian Simon (Avintia FTR).
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 44m04.086s 2. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex + 1.987s 3. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter + 2.071s 4. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi + 9.227s 5. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up + 10.481s 6. Alex de Angelis Forward Suter + 21.180s 7. Toni Elias Aspar Suter + 21.394s 8. Julian Simon Avintia FTR + 21.504s 9. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex + 21.581s 10. Bradley Smith Tech 3 + 24.100s 11. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex + 27.248s 12. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter + 30.087s 13. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 + 30.132s 14. Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex + 30.257s 15. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR + 30.879s 16. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter + 31.097s 17. Anthony West QMMF Moriwaki + 43.099s 18. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex + 47.282s 19. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex + 47.399s 20. Max Neukirchner Kiefer Kalex + 48.143s 21. Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter + 53.563s 22. Angel Rodriguez SAG FTR + 54.530s 23. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Moriwaki + 55.666s 24. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex + 1m24.889s 25. Alexander Lundh MZ FTR + 1m32.467s 26. Elena Rosell QMMF Moriwaki + 1m40.748s 27. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR + 1 lap 28. Gino Rea Gresini Moriwaki + 1 lap Retirements: Mike di Meglio Speed Master Speed Up + 20 laps Simone Corsi Ioda FTR + 19 laps Axel Pons Pons Kalex + 11 laps Yuki Takahashi Forward Suter + 5 laps
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