Lüthi sublime in Austin to get back on the top step

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Dynavolt Intact GP rider followed home by his teammate
Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) was back on the top step of the podium in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with the veteran Swiss rider sublime and pulling away from the field to stamp some serious authority on the race. It’s his first win since Misano 2017 and he was joined on the podium by teammate Marcel Schrötter, with Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) in third to take his first podium in the intermediate class. 

It was a dramatic start to Moto2™ in the Americas as Schrötter took the holeshot but went wide, allowing Alex Marquez and Tom Lüthi through into the lead. Drama hit straight away as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up), Joe Roberts (American Team KTM) and soon after Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) came together with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – and the points leader crashed out. Back at the front it was then Marquez leading Lüthi, but as the race settled into a rhythm and the Swiss rider bode his time, a move was planned to perfection.

With 11 laps to go Lüthi struck and made it past, and the intermediate class veteran immediately set about making a gap. That left teammate Schrötter the man trying to catch Marquez, and the German put in the leg work to pull back the gap to the Spaniard and then strike. With 8 laps to go Schrötter got ahead, but the gap to Lüthi was already two and a half seconds…

Meanwhile, the gap back from Marquez to Navarro was diminishing and with Schrötter unable to break away, it was a trio by five laps to go – but Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) was homing in. Navarro attacked with four to go and couldn’t make it stick, and then tried again but ran well wide, dropping behind the Italian. But he fought back past the Italian and was ready to attack again on the next lap when Marquez headed wide, Marini got involved as well and it became a frantic three-way battle – allowing Mattia Pasini (Flexbox HP 40) to catch them and Navarro to escape. Pasini was then able to do the same, leaving Marquez vs Marini fighting it out the fifth – and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) another to gain from a squabble and the Brit edged closer.

At the front though, it was a serene scene for Lüthi as he crossed the line well clear of the field for his first win since Misano 2017, with teammate Schrötter taking second from pole – and cutting the gap to Baldassarri at the top of the Championship. Navarro’s great escape gave him an impressive first podium in the intermediate class, with Pasini taking fourth on his ride as an injury replacement – and proving he’s as fast as ever.

Marquez was forced to settle for fifth, ahead of Marini and Lowes, who took sixth and seventh respectively. Veteran Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) took eighth just ahead of top rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), with the ‘Bestia’ just edging teammate Andrea Locatelli, who completed the top ten.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) got the better of teammate Tetsuta Nagashima for 11th, with Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) taking P13. On his 200th start, Dominique Aegerter (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward) scored the first points for the new MV Agusta chassis in P14, with rookie Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the points scorers.

His teammate Brad Binder retired with a mechanical problem and Iker Lecuona (American Team KTM) sadly joined the list of crashers to make it a tough home round for the American Team.

Baldassarri was invincible ahead of Texas, but Schrötter has closed in and Lüthi is on the comeback. What will Jerez bring? Find out in three weeks as we return to race in Europe.

Race results
1 – Tom Lüthi (SWI) 39’11.508
2 – Marcel Schrötter (GER) +2.532
3 – Jorge Navarro (SPA) +3.836
The Moto2™ podium L-R: Schrötter, Lüthi and Navarro

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