Jerez Moto2 & Moto3 Review: Neil Morrison On The Real Deal, Dynamic Diggia, And A Close Brush With Fate

After a dramatic weekend, we look at some of the big stories coming out of the Spanish Grand Prix in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes.

Acosta: Another box ticked

Forget last lap scraps, or pitlane penalties. The true test of Pedro Acosta’s mettle was to gauge the 16-year old’s reaction to the pre-event press conference at Jerez. There, Acosta sat among the MotoGP field. He looked on boyishly as Marc Marquez, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo opined on his talent, his potential, and his future plans.

One of the more outlandish questions was whether Acosta would benefit from skipping Moto2 altogether, and jumping straight to MotoGP in the near future. Fabio Quartararo was the voice of reason on this occasion, offering a timely reminder “Come on guys, he’s only 16.”

That aside, this was a love-in. Never more so than when the considered Franco Morbidelli gave his opinion. “Keeping the feet on the ground is important. But Pedro has something different. We’ve never seen something like this. I’ve watched races since I was a kid. He’s 16 but he doesn’t look 16. He looks like a really focussed guy. He’s not here to play too much.”

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2021 Jerez Moto2 Warm Up Result: Di Giannantonio Leads Red Flagged Session

In a chilly morning in Jerez, Fabio Di Giannantonio narrowly led the way from Sam Lowes after a red flag delay caused by the air-fence at infamous turn 7 having to be redeployed following a crash for Celestino Vietti. The Italian was unharmed, unlike his machine, and the same gravel trap saw action once more, when Jake Dixon later suffered a crash and walked away but was taken for a medical check.


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2021 Jerez Moto2 FP3 Result: Gardner Sets The Record Straight

The intermediate class enjoyed perfect conditions to challenge for Q2 spots in FP3 and pretty much everyone attacked the combined timesheets early on. However, the final time attack ended up deciding the hierarchy and it was championship leader Remy Gardner who set a new all time lap record in the final couple of minutes of the session.

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2021 Jerez Moto2 FP2 Result: Lowes Leads The Way

Despite the beautiful conditions throughout FP2, the intermediate class were in no rush to go quicker and at the end of the 40 minutes, there was a pretty even split between riders who managed to improve their times from FP1 and those waiting for FP3. Sam Lowes spent a significant amount of time at the top of the timing screens and despite a late attack from championship leader Remy Gardner, the British rider reclaimed top spot at the very end. Gardner finished second, two tenths of a second behind the leader and only one hundredth of a second ahead of Jake Dixon.

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2021 Jerez Moto2 FP1 Result: Gardner Gains Top Spot

The intermediate class didn’t get to close the FP1 show this time around but they still kept us entertained right up to the checkered flag, when championship leader Remy Gardner jumped ahead by a tenth of a second. The Australian had started the session at the top as well, before allowing some of his rivals some airtime, including the likes of Marco Bezzecchi, who got demoted to second position at the end of the session.

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Portimao Moto2 & Moto3 Review: Neil Morrison On Rookies Ruling The Roost, Americans Racing, And Strange Stewarding

For the third time in as many races, the rookies lit up the smaller classes in Portugal, and now may harbour genuine title hopes…

Raul on a roll

You can count on one hand the number of riders that have impacted the Moto2 class as immediately as Raul Fernandez. A podium in one of his first two races? Only three did it before (Hafizh Syahrin, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins). And now the 20-year old joins Viñales as the only rider to have won a race in their first three appearances.

By that measurement, Fernandez is fairly special; not even Marc Márquez or Joan Mir adapted this quickly. And for a rider that scored ‘just’ two wins and two podiums in the junior class across three years, it would be fair to say few saw this coming.

In Portugal, the scene of his dominant final Moto3 appearance, he fought through from a poor qualifying (tenth) and methodically picked off the men in the seven-rider lead group. In both Qatar races, the Spaniard had challenged the leaders early on, only for tyre life to slow him as the race edged toward the end. But here, no one could live with him in the final six laps, as he first passed Joe Roberts, then Aron Canet to pull clear and win by 1.6s.

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