Sixth place for Tom Luthi in #SanMarinoGP and a DNF for Marcel Schrotter
Summer temperatures and live racing action were offered to the 10,000 spectators in the grandstands of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which encouraged the riders of the LIQUI MOLY Intact GP Team even more.
After some tough practice days at the San Marino GP, Tom Lüthi was able to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to a solid sixth place. This remarkable result was not least due to the good teamwork, but also due to the iron will of the experienced racer. He started the 25-round battle in a rocket-like manner from 11th place in order to take the sixth position right from the start. The Kalex rider tried to catch up even further and wanted to start one last attack on Augusto Fernandez, but when his front wheel almost collapsed, he accepted his sixth place, with which he fought his way back into the top 10 of the 2020 World Championship.
Marcel Schrötter also showed a strong performance in today’s race, in which he even set his eye on the podium at the beginning. But due to a few dangerous slides, the 27-year-old had to quickly realize that it wasn’t quite enough to push forward, so he had to let the leading group go. After placing himself in fifth position after several battles, including with his team-mate, he gave everything to close the gap to Xavi Vierge while at the same time keeping his pursuers at a distance. He pushed his limit too far and with six laps to go, he went down in Turn 13.
Being currently 13th in the World Championship he, however, has no time to sob about his missed Top5 result, as from the 18th to 20th of September he will already get another chance to make up for today’s drama at the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
“It was certainly a solid performance from the entire crew after this difficult weekend. It was very tough and sometimes hard. I really had to fight, but I got off to a good start which helped me a lot. I quickly found a good rhythm, but when I overtook Marcel, I made a small mistake, which meant that he won the place back immediately. After that, I had a fight with Di Giannantonio, which again cost me some time. Nevertheless, I was always able to quickly find my rhythm again. When Fernandez passed me, he opened a small gap and in the end, I was able to close up again. But it wasn’t enough to start another attack on the last lap. With two laps to go, I had a massive front wheel slide in the penultimate corner. I almost lost the front and for me, that was the sign that I couldn’t make up that half-second on the last lap. I was too close to the limit and so I had to accept the sixth place, which was good for the circumstances. After the exhausting weekend, I’ll first relax a bit and then we’ll tackle it again. We want to develop further and that was a good foundation today. It is good that we will now be riding the same track again because that way we can continue working with the data gained this weekend. We will not give up and keep fighting.”
“Right from the start of the race, I had a lot of small slides, which I haven’t had at all weekend because the grip was actually very good. As a result, I was often involved in the battles because I didn’t have any speed for the straight. I got out of the corners quite badly and so I kept getting myself into trouble. Then I found my rhythm, but I wasn’t quite within reach anymore because of the mistakes at the beginning. It was extremely exhausting because if things don’t go smoothly, you have to fight even harder to keep your opponents behind you. Tom passed me too at some point, then I had a problem in first gear and so there were always little things that made it difficult for me. The crash is extremely disappointing, but it happens when you give it all you have. Still, we have to bring placements like this home. I am of course extremely disappointed but despite everything, we were in the leading group and I will attack again next week. I will now travel home, relax a bit, train, and prepare myself for the next race.”