Marc Márquez kicked off his season in the best possible fashion at the Losail International Circuit, taking a hard fought victory in the opening Moto2 round of 2012. After an intense race that featured numerous overtakes amongst the lead riders, Márquez triumphed over Luthi and Iannone in a thrilling finale to in Qatar. The victory takes the Repsol rider to 25 points in the overall Moto2 standings, making him the early leader of the intermediate category.

Poleman Luthi had led at first, before being attacked by Pol Espargaro starting lap two. Both ran a little wide, allowing Marquez to slip through into the lead, as Luthi started a temporary slump down the order. Espargaro, Iannone and Marquez then swapped the lead for a while, although the latter pair made life harder for themselves by running wide at Turn 1 on consecutive laps around half-distance and losing several places. That gave Espargaro another shot at leading, until Luthi worked his way back to the front on lap 14.

Marquez was soon back on Luthi’s tail, with Iannone right behind them. It seemed as though Marquez was biding his time, and sure enough he attacked starting the final lap, edging Luthi onto the kerb and sending him very wide. Iannone capitalised and briefly claimed the lead, but Marquez was able to slipstream back past on the run to the finish line, claiming victory in his comeback race by just 0.061 seconds. Espargaro beat Esteve Rabat to the final podium position, with Luthi only able to salvage fifth.

Moto2 2012 Qatar timings

1. Marc Marquez – Monlau Suter – 40m 34.225s

2. Andrea Iannone – Speed Master Speed Up – + 0.061s

3. Pol Espargaro – Pons Kalex – + 1.412s

4. Esteve Rabat – Pons Kalex – + 1.639s

5. Thomas Luthi – Interwetten Suter – + 3.981s

6. Scott Redding – Marc VDS Kalex – + 6.768s

7. Mike di Meglio – Speed Master Speed Up – + 6.794s

8. Simone Corsi – Ioda FTR – + 6.986s

9. Bradley Smith – Tech 3 – + 10.828s

10. Mika Kallio – Marc VDS Kalex -+ 11.379s

11. Randy Krummenacher – Switzerland Kalex – + 12.750s

12. Johann Zarco – JIR Motobi – + 14.121s

13. Toni Elias – Aspar Suter – + 17.634s

14. Takaaki Nakagami – Italtrans Kalex – + 17.875s

15. Julian Simon – Avintia FTR – + 17.894s

16. Claudio Corti – Italtrans Kalex – + 19.014s

17. Xavier Simeon – Tech 3 – + 19.114s

18. Dominique Aegerter – Technomag-CIP Suter – + 28.802s

19. Yuki Takahashi – Forward Suter – + 36.598s

20. Angel Rodriguez – SAG FTR – + 36.738s

21. Ratthapark Wilairot – Gresini Moriwaki – + 37.147s

22. Axel Pons – Pons Kalex – + 37.443s

23. Nicolas Terol – Aspar Suter – + 39.523s

24. Ricard Cardus – Arguinano AJR – + 45.260s

25. Anthony West – QMMF Moriwaki – + 53.786s

26. Gino Rea – Gresini Moriwaki – + 54.008s

27. Marco Colandrea – SAG FTR – + 1m19.054s

28. Alexander Lundh – MZ FTR – + 1m19.071s

29. Elena Rosell – QMMF Moriwaki – + 1m35.150s

30. Max Neukirchner – Kiefer Kalex – + 1 lap

Retirements:

Alex de Angelis Forward Suter 18 laps

Nasser Hasan Al Malki QMMF Moriwaki 10 laps

Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter 3 laps