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Championship shake up as Luthi takes a Silverstone stunner

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Championship shake up as Luthi takes a Silverstone stunner
Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) has taken the win in the Moto2 class at the British GP, as the Swiss rider came back form having sat out the Czech GP to get straight back to the top.

In the battle behind over the last few incredible laps of the race, Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) beat Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in a last lap duel after Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) and polesitter Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) collided. Reigning champion and points leader Zarco was subsequently given a 30-second time penalty for the incident, which puts him outside the points finishes.

Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) had the best the launch off the line, as the man lining up in third got the jump on home polesitter Sam Lowes to lead the pack into Turn 1, as a lead group of Folger, Lowes, Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS duo of Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli fought it out behind. The Brit had a safe lead in the initial laps, before a crash for Marquez saw the 2014 Moto3 champion slide out of podium contention and the pack shuffled. With Folger then dropping back, it was Luthi who charged to the front, leading the pack with a safe advantage and crossing the line clear of his nearest challengers as the battle raged behind.

Luthi returned to Silverstone following a heavy crash in the qualifying session for the Czech GP, as the Swiss rider lost control of his machine in the last third of the session. The crash knocked the former 125 world champion out and he suffered concussion from the incident; heading to hospital to be kept under observation and playing no further role in the race weekend. Riding only six days later at the British GP, Luthi had a steady weekend before finding incredible pace in the race to take the win.

Franco Morbidelli had seemed outpaced by his teammate for the last few races in the Moto2 world championship, but came back in style in Silverstone to take an impressive podium finish and equal his best ever result in the category. In with the frontrunners for much of the race, Morbidelli took Nakagami in the final stages to hold onto second and impress once again, as the Italian-Brazilian continues to make good inroads in the intermediate category.

Assen winner Takaaki Nakagami had a great race in the UK to take another podium at the track, following his impressive second in the British GP in 2013 behind Scott Redding. The Japanese rider stayed in the mix throughout the race and made some good attempts on Morbidelli for second, before crossing the line to complete the podium and get another good haul of points.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) made good on his early promise to take fourth, ahead of early leader Folger. Lorenzo Baldassari came home in sixth - ahead of an absolutely stunning result from title contender Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40).

Rins began the Moto2 race in Silverstone from ninteenth after breaking his collarbone in a training crash in the week before the event, and the gap at the top of the table looked set to grow once again. However, steadily making his way through the pack, the Spaniard was knocking on the door to the top ten by half race distance, with an incredible ride through the pain as he hangs onto his championship aspirations ahead of his move up to MotoGP with Team Suzuki Ecstar in 2017.

Staying on the bike and making it into tenth with lap times almost matching those at the front, the former FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 championship winner proved his mettle as he crossed the line in seventh after the drama ahead on track. With neither of his closest rivals Zarco or Lowes scoring, an incredible turnaround now sees the Spaniard only ten points down on the defending champion in the title fight.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) had a solid ride into P8 and stayed away from drama, with compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) coming home in ninth. Axel Pons (AGR Team) completed the top ten, with Lowes and Zarco then classified in twenty first and twenty second respectively.

Moto2 will return at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for their next showdown, as 6 races now seem like an age ahead of the season finale - with only ten points separating the top two in the table.

Main Photo: Tom Luthi

Moto2 Race Classification - OCTO BRITISH GRAND PRIX
1 Thomas LUTHI SWI Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex - 38'49.473
2 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +0.856
3 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +1.179
4 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex +1.359
5 Jonas FOLGER GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +1.970
6 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Forward Team Kalex +5.292
7 Alex RINS SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex +7.962
8 Simone CORSI ITA Speed Up Racing Speed Up +8.421
9 Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +8.556
10 Axel PONS SPA AGR Team Kalex +13.740
11 Marcel SCHROTTER GER AGR Team Kalex +15.381
12 Sandro CORTESE GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +16.089
13 Xavi VIERGE SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 +16.564
14 Julian SIMON SPA QMMF Racing Team Speed Up +22.155
15 Danny KENT GBR Leopard Racing Kalex +22.190
16 Xavier SIMEON BEL QMMF Racing Team Speed Up +27.892
17 Jesko RAFFIN SWI Sports-Millions-EMWE-SAG Kalex +29.045
18 Ratthapark WILAIROT THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +29.195
19 Iker LECUONA SPA CarXpert Interwetten Kalex +31.565
20 Remy GARDNER AUS Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex +31.722
21 Sam LOWES GBR Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +32.701
22 Johann ZARCO FRA Ajo Motorsport Kalex +35.232
23 Edgar PONS SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex +38.296
24 Robin MULHAUSER SWI CarXpert Interwetten Kalex +38.716
25 Alex MARQUEZ SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +44.146
DNF Luca MARINI ITA Forward Team Kalex 1 Lap
DNF Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Leopard Racing Kalex 7 Laps
DNF Isaac VIÌÔALES SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 0 Lap

Moto2 World Standing 2016
1 Johann ZARCO Kalex FRA 181 points
2 Alex RINS Kalex SPA 171
3 Sam LOWES Kalex GBR 137
4 Thomas LUTHI Kalex SWI 131
5 Jonas FOLGER Kalex GER 119
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex ITA 114
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex JPN 108
8 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex MAL 92
9 Dominique AEGERTER Kalex SWI 71
10 Simone CORSI Speed Up ITA 67
11 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex ITA 65
12 Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 50
13 Axel PONS Kalex SPA 47
14 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex GER 38
15 Luis SALOM Kalex SPA 37
16 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 34
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA Kalex POR 33
18 Julian SIMON Speed Up SPA 32
19 Xavier SIMEON Speed Up BEL 29
20 Danny KENT Kalex GBR 28
21 Sandro CORTESE Kalex GER 24
22 Luca MARINI Kalex ITA 20
23 Isaac VIÌÔALES Tech 3 SPA 12
24 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex SWI 10
25 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 SPA 10
26 Anthony WEST Suter AUS 6
27 Remy GARDNER Kalex AUS 5
28 Robin MULHAUSER Kalex SWI 4
29 Ratthapark WILAIROT Kalex THA 3
30 Edgar PONS Kalex SPA 2

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