Moto2 is generally rather dull, at least up front, right?
Well, not so in 2017. For some reason – not least the departure of double-champ Zarco, plus the arrival of a handful of fast rookies and the new KTM – it was a season of great tension and great racing.
The overall results don’t show it, though. Rossi protege Franco Morbidelli (who had never won before) took the first three races on the trot, then added five more.
Yet it wasn’t as dominant as it sounds, thanks to Franco’s spirited approach. He wanted to win even when he didn’t need to – when he’d been advised by his team to settle down and take the points. As a result, he crashed twice, allowing the much more consistent and sensible Tom Luthi to get within nine points with just five races to go.
Luthi won only twice all season, the second time by promotion after Swiss compatriot Dominique Aegerter was disqualified from the Misano results for a technical transgression. But his hopes were dashed when, after downbeat rides in the first two flyaways, he broke his ankle in practice for the third, putting him out of action for the title decider.
Morbidelli’s teammate Alex Marquez took three wins, but crashed too often, losing third in the series to Miguel Oliveira, who majestically won the last three races on the new KTM.
Rookie Brad Binder was second to his more experienced KTM teammate twice, and third the next time; if injury hadn’t spoiled the first half of Binder’s season, Pecco Bagnaia might have had tough opposition for the honour of being top rookie.
By Michael Scott
Read MotoGP Wrap:http://amcn.com.au/editorial/hair-raising-motogp-season/
Read Moto3 Wrap: http://amcn.com.au/editorial/moto3-2017-season-wrap/