Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Nagashima takes first win from 14th

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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

PosRiderTeamBikeGap
1Tetsuta NagashimaRed Bull KTM AjoKalex/Triumph40m00.192s
2Lorenzo BaldassarriFlexbox HP 40Kalex/Triumph1.347s
3Enea BastianiniItaltrans Racing TeamKalex/Triumph1.428s
4Joe RobertsAmerican RacingKalex/Triumph1.559s
5Remy GardnerONEXOX TKKR SAG TeamKalex/Triumph1.901s
6Jorge NavarroBeta Tools – Speed Up RacingSpeed Up/Triumph2.381s
7Marcel SchrotterLiqui Moly Intact GPKalex/Triumph4.490s
8Aron CanetAspar TeamSpeed Up/Triumph4.703s
9Xavi ViergePetronas Sprinta RacingKalex/Triumph7.118s
10Thomas LuthiLiqui Moly Intact GPKalex/Triumph8.904s
11Bo BendsneyderNTS RW Racing GPNTS/Triumph9.730s
12Marco BezzecchiSKY Racing Team VR46Kalex/Triumph11.410s
13Fabio Di GiannantonioBeta Tools – Speed Up RacingSpeed Up/Triumph12.701s
14Jake DixonPetronas Sprinta RacingKalex/Triumph12.717s
15Stefano ManziMV Agusta Forward RacingMV Agusta/Triumph16.208s
16Edgar PonsFederal Oil Gresini Moto2Kalex/Triumph16.256s
17Hector GarzoFlexbox HP 40Kalex/Triumph16.869s
18Nicolo BulegaFederal Oil Gresini Moto2Kalex/Triumph16.932s
19Hafizh SyahrinAspar TeamSpeed Up/Triumph19.639s
20Jorge MartinRed Bull KTM AjoKalex/Triumph20.662s
21Simone CorsiMV Agusta Forward RacingMV Agusta/Triumph27.291s
22Andi IzdiharIdemitsu Honda Team AsiaKalex/Triumph34.514s
23Jesko RaffinNTS RW Racing GPNTS/Triumph34.664s
24Lorenzo Dalla PortaItaltrans Racing TeamKalex/Triumph45.850s
25Somkiat ChantraIdemitsu Honda Team AsiaKalex/Triumph1 Lap
Luca MariniSKY Racing Team VR46Kalex/TriumphRetirement
Kasma KasmayudinONEXOX TKKR SAG TeamKalex/TriumphRetirement
Augusto FernandezEG 0,0 Marc VDSKalex/TriumphRetirement
Marcos RamirezAmerican RacingKalex/TriumphRetirement
Sam LowesEG 0,0 Marc VDSKalex/TriumphWithdrawn

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