Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Mugello:
The intermediate class got one final chance to secure a direct Q2 position and although Sam Lowes topped Friday’s action, he was in a rush to leave his mark on FP3 as well, imrpoving his own benchmark on only his second lap of the session. The British rider went on to set a new lap record and rival Raul Fernandez spend the rest of the session threatening that time. The rookie got the job done eventually and improved the old record by over half a second in the closing stages of FP3. Remy Gardner reduced the gap to his teammate to one tenth of a second, while Lowes was demoted to third.
Sam Lowes closed Day 1 at Mugello by topping the second practice session, as well as the combined standings in the intermediate class, taking over top spot for the final five minutes of FP1. Until that moment, Raul Fernandez had led the way for much of the session, also adding an impressive save at San Donato to his rookie repertoire. After a low-key morning, Jorge Navarro climbed up to third, three tenths off the leader and another tenth ahead of home favourite Marco Bezzecchi.
A sunny Mugello greeted the intermediate class for their first outing of the weekend and it was the same familiar names towards the top of the timesheets. After the lead changed hands a few times, Joe Roberts took over by two tenths of a second, right after his save made it into the highlights reel. Championship leader Remy Gardner got demoted to second, ahead of rival Sam Lowes and closely followed by rookie Raul Fernandez.
Neither race was a classic in France, but Moto2 and Moto3 still produced plenty to talk about last weekend. Here, we’ll dive into some of the more pressing matters in both classes.
Fernandez’s star rises
Anything Pedro can do, Raul can do better. All weekend long 20-year old Raul Fernandez demonstrated once again why his future is among the paddock’s big talking points. The rookie was untouchable in France, scoring a maiden Moto2 pole position before maintaining his cool in the opening laps when those around him lost theirs.
In a frenzied opening, when riders navigated a dry but patchy track on slick tyres, a number of podium contenders crashed out between laps one to four, Aron Canet, Augusto Fernandez, Joe Roberts, Sam Lowes and Xavi Vierge among them. A lap later and Fernandez coolly slotted by early leader Marco Bezzecchi to assume control. And from there, he held firm, even when team-mate Remy Gardner advanced to second and attempted to reel him in. There were no signs of the arm-pump issues that slowed him in the closing laps of the Spanish Grand Prix. As Bezzecchi said post-race with a shrug, “he was just faster.”
Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Le Mans:
Moto2 standings after a dry race at Le Mans:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Le Mans: