Tuenti HP 40 rider Pol Espargaro kept British title hopeful Scott Redding at bay during the opening race of the season at Losail.
The Spaniard secured his fifth Moto2 win from his fifth successive pole after timing his move on Redding just right, the Marc VDS rider gave everything in his fightback but had to settle for second across the line.
The two were lead for much of the race by Japanese rider Takakki Nakaagmi, who hit the front at the first corner, but his challenge faded when he was passed by the Brit, though he still took his debut podium, despite being more than twelve seconds off the pace by the end of the race.
This made for an all Kalex podium,headed up by Espargaro’s Pons Kalex machine, but fourth across the line was the Suter powered Technomag carXpert bike of Dominique Aegerter, his best performance ever around the track.
Fifth was filled by Marc VDS rider Mika Kallio as the tense battle for the points places hit the stripe, Julian Simon was next to finish in sixth for Italtrans, closely followed by NGM racing’s Simone Corsi and Alex De Angelis in seventh and eighth.
Tito Rabat finished in ninth for Pons Tuenti, Xavier Simeon completed the top ten top finishers.
Moto2 Qatar Race Result:
1. Pol Espargaro Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 40m 31.782
2. Scott Redding Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 32.626s
3. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 43.880
4. Dominique Aegerter Technomag carXpert (Suter) 40m 50.692
5. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 50.715
6. Julian Simon Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 50.800
7. Simone Corsi NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 40m 51.012
8. Alex De Angelis NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 40m 51.234
9. Esteve Rabat Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 40m 52.001
10. Xavier Simeon Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 40m 52.754
11. Jordi Torres Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 40m 53.456
12. Johann Zarco Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 40m 53.866
13. Marcel Schrotter Desguaces La Torre SAG (Kalex) 40m 53.875
14. Nicolas Terol Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 40m 54.278
15. Toni Elias Blusens Avintia (Kalex) 41m 8.459
16. Mike Di Meglio Jir Moto2 (MotoBI) 41m 8.479
17. Sandro Cortese Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 41m 13.639
18. Danny Kent Tech 3 (Tech 3) 41m 17.077
19. Randy Krummenacher Technomag carXpert (Suter) 41m 19.455
20. Sergio Gadea Interwetten Paddock (Suter) 41m 25.979
21. Kyle Smith Blusens Avintia (Kalex) 41m 31.027
22. Steven Odendaal Argiñano & Gines Racing (Speed Up) 41m 34.495
23. Yuki Takahashi IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Moriwaki) 41m 36.076
24. Doni Tata Pradita Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 41m 45.799
25. Alberto Moncayo Argiñano & Gines Racing (Speed Up) 42m 8.791
26. Rafid Topan Sucipto QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 41m 31.799