Thomas Luthi put a pointless MotoGP season well and truly behind him by returning to victory in the Moto2 class at COTA.
The Swiss star, a double Moto2 title runner-up before his ill-fated MotoGP chance with Marc VDS Honda, led home team-mate Marcel Schrotter by 2.5s as the Dynavolt Intact (Kalex) squad celebrated a perfect one-two.
“I am really, really happy,” said Luthi, who hadn’t won since Misano 2017. “When I passed the chequered flag in first position I immediately started to scream in my helmet. It was an unbelievable feeling. To get a victory again and be back at the front is amazing.
“The whole weekend went well. We had a good pace and I knew I could be fast. But the guy next to me in the garage has been faster than me all practice long and I think that was not too bad as it put me under a lot of pressure. We had to fight hard to find the right setup.
“I want to thank my team for this amazing effort and that we are back at the top. Because of the zero points from Argentina I knew that today I really need points and I need to do a clever race.
“I had a good start and went into second position from the beginning. Then I had to fight off Alex Marquez, who went into the inside of the turn again, where there was no space and we touched. He tried to leave me behind, but I was able to pass him back and I stayed there.”
Team manager Jürgen Lingg lavished praise on both Luthi and Schrotter, who had qualified on pole for the second time in three races.
“Both were incredible. The others did not have much of a chance against our riders. That did surprise me a bit and it will take some time for this one-two to sink in,” Lingg said.
“I have to praise the whole team. It is so much fun this year and the chemistry is just right. Everybody is giving everything and works super professional and you can see that on the result. I am really very, very proud of all of us.”
With Lorenzo Baldassarri – winner of the opening rounds of the new Triumph era – failing to finish in Texas, Schrotter is now just three points from the title lead and Luthi five adrift heading to the opening European round at Jerez.