A warm, familiar and freshly laid surface waited for the intermediate class riders in Misano and it was the usual contenders bidding for top spot straight out the gates. Looking for redemption after a controversial Sunday in Styria, Sam Lowes traded the lead with championship leader Luca Marini throughout the session and the British rider ended up on top. Marini made do with second, trailing the Marc VDS machine by two tenths of a second and another tenth ahead of teammate Marco Bezzecchi.
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider Jorge Martin has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the resumption of racing this weekend at Misano. The Spaniard, currently third in the Moto2 standings, tested positive for the virus during the standard testing procedure put in place as part of Dorna's COVID-19 protocol, and as a result, was not allowed to travel to Misano for the race. Martin has been in quarantine since receiving the test results.
Martin is now awaiting the results of a second test, to confirm the first test. If that test returns a negative result, he will be allowed to travel to Misano, but if it comes back positive gain, then Martin will have to follow the recommendations laid out by the government of the country he lives in, which for Martin is Spain. That means self isolating for 10 days, which would mean he would miss the first race at Misano, but might be able to race in the second round.
Minutes after repeating his brilliant lights-to-flag feats of the Austrian Grand Prix for a second time in as many weekends, initial race winner Jorge Martin was shown the runner-up slot in parc fermé. His crime? Running over a sliver of green paint that follows the kerb on the outside of turn eight as he fought resolutely to fend of Marco Bezzecchi’s ever-threatening late race advances. The FIM Stewards demoted to second despite crossing the line 0.060s second ahead.
“Losing out this way is painful,” Martin sighed from that same parc fermé. “In the last lap I think I didn’t touch it. Last week I touched it but they (the FIM Stewards) said it’s OK. Today wasn’t the day to touch. We won in an amazing way. For sure Bezzecchi at the end had a little bit more but he didn’t arrive to the battle. Me and my team really deserved this victory.”
So, were the Stewards wrong to penalize him? Well, after the controversy surrounding Augusto Fernandez’s last lap victory at Misano last year, when he passed Fabio Di Giannantonio at turn 14 moments after exceeding track limits on the exit of turn eleven, Dorna published a clarification on a tightening of the rules regarding track limits.
Moto2 standings after the second race at the Red Bull Ring:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Austria:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Austria:
With the sunny conditions at the Red Bull Ring, the intermediate class was in no rush to challenge the hierarchy from Friday, so much so that there wasn’t much of a shootout at the tail end of the session. Jorge Martin was one of the few early improvers, the Spaniard becoming the fastest man of the weekend on only his fourth lap and keeping top spot to the checkered flag. Marco Bezzecchi also climbed into second in both FP3 and the combined standings, while Jake Dixon found some speed to jump into third and into Q2.
The intermediate class closed the show on a sunny Friday at the Red Bull Ring, with Marco Bezzecchi grabbing the headline of a session that mostly focused on race pace. The Italian took control of FP2 early on and had no challenger until the checkered flag, although Remy Gardner did get as close as four hundredths of a second. After a pretty anonymous performance in the morning session, Jorge Navarro climbed into the top three and was one of the few men to improve his position on the combined standings, where he joined the provisional top 14.
Building on the experience of last weekend, the intermediate class set a fast pace on Friday morning in Styria. Fastest of the lot was once again Sam Lowes, painting a familiar picture to seven days ago but this time only a hundredth of a second faster than Remy Gardner. Jorge Martin was third, another four hundredths of a second down but possibly looking at an earful for being slow on the racing line and impeding Marcel Schrotter.