2020 Moto2™ World Championship powers back into life at Qatar
Tetsuta Nagashima started his 2020 Moto2™ season in the best possible way, triumphing in the latter stages of a fantastic opening Grand Prix to become the seventh rider to take a Moto2™ race victory in the Triumph-powered era. Nagashima rode from 14th place on the grid to eventually take the flag after 20 hard-fought laps.
In 2020 Triumph are again the exclusive engine supplier to the FIM Moto2™ World Championship, supplying their class-redefining 765cc triple engines. After intense pre-season testing the competition was set to be even closer this year, and the Qatar GP didn’t disappoint. Joe Roberts became the first American rider in a decade to take a Moto2™ Grand Prix pole position, following an unheard of initial dead heat, with the Italian rider Luca Marini set the exact same time as Roberts, to the thousandth of a second. With Marini taking the second slot on the grid on a countback to their second fastest laps, Joe Roberts eventually secured his first ever Moto2™ pole position.
Marini and Enea Bastianini got away from the pack at the start of the race, followed by Roberts and Lorenzo Baldassarri, last year’s Qatar Moto2™ GP winner. By just under half distance, only 1.5seconds split the top eight riders.
Someone who didn’t immediately feature at the front was Nagashima, who started 14th on the grid but delivered a superlative ride, especially in the final stages, to pick off one rider after another as he powered through the field. After a last-lap tangle between Marini, who had led half the race, with British rider Jake Dixon, it was Nagashima who climbed to the top step of the podium by 1.347seconds, ahead of Baldassarri, Bastianini and American hero Roberts – 2nd to 4th positions were split by just 0.2seconds at the line.
Further demonstrating the closeness of competition in the class, the new Triumph Triple Trophy has two joint-leaders at the close of the 1st race of the season. Marcos Ramirez and Marcel Schrotter both now sit on seven points each, having recorded an identical fastest top speed of 299.1km/h across the race weekend.
Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, said: “One year on from our first race in Qatar and the goosebumps are still there! What an amazing opening race that was, with another new winner in Tetsuta, an incredibly close podium, a new lap record and exactly the same close racing we’ve become accustomed to enjoying now in Moto2. It feels great to get the 2020 season going, to launch our new Triumph Triple Trophy which immediately highlighted just how close the championship is - we all can’t wait for the next race.”
The Triumph Moto2™ 765cc race engine is a development of the class-leading Street Triple RS 765cc road motorcycle and produces more than 140PS and the same visceral soundtrack. Next on the calendar for Moto2™ is the Grand Prix of the Americas on the 3-5 April, after the postponement of the Thailand Grand Prix.