16.10.2011: GP of Australia, Phillip Island, Race
Tom Luthi’s Grand Prix of Australia turned into a very tough battle. The 25-year-od star of Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 had caught up with the second group of riders and held a promising sixth position after 16 of 25 laps, when Spaniard Pol Espargaro forced him to run wide and off the track in the 280 kph right-hand corner after the main straight. Luthi just managed to avoid a crash, but lost many positions and was down in 13th place at the end of the 17th lap. He re-gained two positions to finish in eleventh place but wondered why he had so much wheelspin. The answer was obvious at close inspection of his rear tyre after the race: Due to the stress in the race, big chunks of rubber had been ripped out of the left tyre flank. After the race, Luthi also went into Espargaro’s garage to confront the Spaniard with his risky attack. But Espargaro denied all responsibility and blamed the wind for the incident.
Thomas Lüthi – 11th + 22.081 sec.:
“I had a lot of wheelspin early on in the race and when I saw after the race that big chunks of rubber were missing, I knew why! My other problem was the situation with Pol Espargaro. When he braked for the first corner at 280 kph, he pulled over to the left before turning right and pushed me right off the track. I went to his garage after the race, but he didn’t live up to his responsibility and blamed the wind! The good thing about the race is that we had a great set-up and I was able to push without any other problems. It’s just the tyre and Espargaro who stopped me from getting a better result!”
Terrell Thien - Teammanager:
“It was a good weekend - except for the result on Sunday. An unfair move of Pol Espargaro cost us a lot. We went to his garage to discuss the incident but he didn’t take any responsibility. Obviously, both riders will have to sort it out between themselves on the track!”
Daniel M. Epp – PADDOCK Grand Prix Management:
“Tom had a strong pace during the whole race. He couldn't match the speed of the first two, but third or fourth place would have been possible. Espargaro’s first attack was hard, but fair, and Tom overtook him again with a clean move. Espargaro’s second attack was beyond the limit of fair racing as he forced Tom off the track and into the grass. On the brighter side, we gained one position in the championship!”
1. Alex deAngelis / RSM / Motobi / 39:44,574 min.
2. Stefan Bradl / GER / Kalex / + 1,358 sec.
3. Marc Marquez / SPA / Suter / + 6,362 sec.
11. Thomas Lüthi / SUI / Suter / + 22.081 sec.
Standing after 15 von 17 Races:
1. Stefan Bradl / GER / Kalex / 254 Pts.
2. Marc Marquez / SPA / Suter / 251 Pts.
3. Andrea Iannone / ITA / Suter / 165 Pts.
6. Thomas Lüthi / SUI / Suter / 126 Pts.