Moto2 Qatar: Red Bull KTM Ajo's Nagashima takes first win from 14th

Red Bull KTM Ajo's Tetsuta Nagashima came through from 14th to grab a surprise emotional maiden Moto2 win in a frantic Qatar Grand Prix

Moto2 Qatar: Red Bull KTM Ajo's Nagashima takes first win from 14th

Nagashima grabbed the lead late on and opened up an insurmountable gap to cruise to his first win, some 10 years after fellow Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa won the very first Moto2 race in Qatar.

Valentino Rossi protege Luca Marini grabbed the advantage from second on the grid on his Sky VR46 Kalex, with poleman Joe Roberts losing out to Italtrans' Enea Bastianini at Turn 1.

Bastianini came through to take the lead at Turn 12, though was quickly repassed by Marini on the run into the first corner on lap two.

A moment for American Racing Team rider Roberts at Turn 1 early on left him with work to do to get back into the podium places, but got himself in a position to attack Marini at the start of lap seven.

However, he ran wide and allowed the VR46 bike back through, with Marini using the grip of his supersoft front tyre to build up a gap of eight tenths by lap 11.

He managed to eke this out to close to a second, but the chasing pack started to reel him in, with Roberts coming through at the last corner on lap 15.

Pons's Lorenzo Baldassarri also saw his opportunity and tried to pass the pair of them at the same time, but ran in too deep.

But the ex-VR46 Academy member managed to get his hooks into Roberts and scythed past at Turn 6, while Marini's pace dramatically fell into a void as his front rubber had cried enough.

All this battling allowed Ajo's new signing Nagashima to get into podium contention, before he launched a daring raid into Turn 1 on lap 18 and fended off Baldassarri's retaliation.

Nagashima subsequently pulled the pin and went onto the final lap 1.2 seconds clear of the field - a gap he would not relinquish through to the chequered flag.

Baldassarri held onto second for his first podium since he won last year's Jerez race, ending a barren period for the Pons rider, while Bastianini completed the podium.

Roberts was denied a maiden podium by 0.131s in fourth ahead of Remy Gardner - who is still on last year's Kalex chassis in SAG colours - and a late-charging Jorge Navarro on the Speed Up.

Marcel Schrotter lifted himself up from 13th on the Intact GP Kalex to end the night seventh, with Aron Canet (Aspar Team) a strong eighth on his Moto2 debut.

Petronas Sprinta's Xavi Vierge and Tom Luthi on the sister Intact bike rounded out the top 10.

Marini dropped to the fringes of the points on the last lap, but would not see the chequered flag after Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta) made contact and took him out at the last corner.

Result - 20 laps

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Tetsuta Nagashima Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex/Triumph 40m00.192s
2 Lorenzo Baldassarri Flexbox HP 40 Kalex/Triumph 1.347s
3 Enea Bastianini Italtrans Racing Team Kalex/Triumph 1.428s
4 Joe Roberts American Racing Kalex/Triumph 1.559s
5 Remy Gardner ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex/Triumph 1.901s
6 Jorge Navarro Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing Speed Up/Triumph 2.381s
7 Marcel Schrotter Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex/Triumph 4.490s
8 Aron Canet Aspar Team Speed Up/Triumph 4.703s
9 Xavi Vierge Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex/Triumph 7.118s
10 Thomas Luthi Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex/Triumph 8.904s
11 Bo Bendsneyder NTS RW Racing GP NTS/Triumph 9.730s
12 Marco Bezzecchi SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex/Triumph 11.410s
13 Fabio Di Giannantonio Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing Speed Up/Triumph 12.701s
14 Jake Dixon Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex/Triumph 12.717s
15 Stefano Manzi MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta/Triumph 16.208s
16 Edgar Pons Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex/Triumph 16.256s
17 Hector Garzo Flexbox HP 40 Kalex/Triumph 16.869s
18 Nicolo Bulega Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex/Triumph 16.932s
19 Hafizh Syahrin Aspar Team Speed Up/Triumph 19.639s
20 Jorge Martin Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex/Triumph 20.662s
21 Simone Corsi MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta/Triumph 27.291s
22 Andi Izdihar Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex/Triumph 34.514s
23 Jesko Raffin NTS RW Racing GP NTS/Triumph 34.664s
24 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Italtrans Racing Team Kalex/Triumph 45.850s
25 Somkiat Chantra Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex/Triumph 1 Lap
- Luca Marini SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex/Triumph Retirement
- Kasma Kasmayudin ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex/Triumph Retirement
- Augusto Fernandez EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex/Triumph Retirement
- Marcos Ramirez American Racing Kalex/Triumph Retirement
- Sam Lowes EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex/Triumph Withdrawn


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Roberts pips Marini to Qatar Moto2 pole as both set identical times

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