Nagashima achieves first victory in unforgettable 2020 season opener08/03/2020
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider wins in Qatar after moving up 14 places. Teammate Jorge Martin has a tough day and finishes in 20th position.
Red Bull KTM Ajo and Tetsuta Nagashima made a dream start to the 2020 Moto2 World Championship season by winning the Qatar GP. On his debut race with the team, the Japanese rider claimed his first Grand Prix victory and podium under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit. Meanwhile, teammate, Jorge Martin challenged for the podium positions at the start of the race, but several problems relegated him to 20th by the time the chequered flag fell.
Nagashima, which started from 14th place, managed to hold his spot on the opening lap. Little by little, the Japanese rider moved up the order thanks to his superior pace. Past the halfway mark, Nagashima reached 8th, and with three laps remaining he took the lead. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider then established an advantage of more than a second that allowed him to claim the inaugural victory of 2020.
Martin made an excellent start, climbing from eighth place on the grid to third in less than a lap. The Spaniard remained in the podium positions for the first half of the contest, fighting in a large group of riders. However, in the last 10 laps of the intermediate class battle he conceded several positions, losing touch with the frontrunners and coming home 20th.
After the cancellation of the Thai GP, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team will return to action at the GP of The Americas, which will take place from April 3rd-5th at the Circuit of the Americas.
Results (Moto2 Race)
1. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:00:192
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +1.347
3. Enea Bastianini (Kalex) +1.428
4. Joe Roberts (Kalex) +1.559
5. Remy Gardner (Kalex) 1:58.410 +1.901
20. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +20.662
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2019
1. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 25 points
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 20 points
3. Enea Bastianini (Kalex) 16 points
4. Joe Roberts (Kalex) 13 points
5. Remy Gardner (Kalex) 11 points
20. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) –
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“Tetsuta [Nagashima] had an incredible performance. During the winter tests, he already showed great potential to be up at the front, and today he did it again. The pace he set throughout the race was impressive, and he was deserving the victory. We have mixed feelings about today, because we’ve seen Jorge Martin be very competitive during preseason and we know that he is a rider ready to fight for the victory. Here he suffered with the front end and with tyre performance. Now we have to analyse how to solve these problems for the next few contests, so that Jorge can ride as he knows.”
88 JORGE MARTIN
“It was a tough race. At the beginning I felt good and I was trying to be conservative, thinking about the final part of the race. However, after the halfway mark I had a lot of problems on corner entry, so I focused on finishing the contest as well as possible.
This weekend has helped us to gather a lot of data and we were able to work on several important aspects. We must continue to take steps forward at the upcoming Grands Prix.”
45 TETSUTA NAGASHIMA
“I still don’t believe it, I feel like I’m in a dream. I want to thank the team because they have trusted me from the first moment we joined forces, and have worked very hard to make this possible. I’m very happy because it is my first victory in Moto2. From the first session we worked to prepare for the race and in the end that effort paid off. It was a perfect weekend.”