Celebrations in the Sky Racing Team VR46 garage will roar on well into the night as Pecco Bagnaia is crowned 2018 Moto2 World Champion whilst his teammate Luca Marini took his maiden Moto2 win.
Marini made the perfect start, getting the jump on pole man Alex Marquez. Marquez had to take drastic action to avoid a very optimistic move from Fabio Quatararo which caused the Spaniard to drop back to eighth-position.
As Marini tried to put some space between himself and the pack, Bagnaia found himself being hunted down by championship rival Miguel Oliveira for second-position. Oliveira managed to take second-position from the Italian then set his sights on Marini but Oliveira was unable to close the gap between himself and the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider, extinguishing his championship hopes.
As the chequered flag was shown, Marini claimed his first and very well-earned Moto2 win with Oliveira in second-position and Bagnaia in third. Mattia Pasini completed what will likely be his penultimate Moto2 race in fourth-position ahead of Fabio Quatararo in fifth. Lorenzo Baldassarri brought his Pons HP40 home in sixth as pole-man Marquez took seventh after being picked off by Quatararo and Baldassarri during the last few laps.
AustralianGP winner Brad Binder was unable to perform any magic this weekend as he finished in eighth-position ahead of Dynavolt Intact GP rider Marcel Schrotter in ninth as Joan Mir made up eight places to round out the top 10.
The winning celebrations were somewhat muted for Marini as he had to hitch a lift back to Parc Ferme as his Kalex machine gave up the ghost before he could complete his victory lap.
Bagnaia’s world championship celebrations were somewhat delayed. The Italian was congratulated by his rival Oliveira, a beautiful sign of respect between two extremely talented men, his mentor Valentino Rossi as well as his team before the team encased themselves, the new world champion and his bike inside a makeshift tent. The crowd and TV audience everywhere waited with bated breath as the minutes ticked by.
Finally, the ‘tent’ was dropped to reveal Bagnaia sporting some gorgeous black and gold leathers with a matching helmet and an equally breathtaking livery for his Kalex machine. Unfortunately, much like Marini, the bike refused to play ball and wouldn’t restart meaning the team were left to push their new champion away.
Full results here.
Bagnaia and Oliveira have brought us some fantastic racing this year but we still have one more to come before the pair move up to the premier class to begin another season of scrapping.