Austria Moto2 & Moto3 Review - Neil Morrison On Syahrin's Crash, Martin's Win, Marini's Progress, And Moto3 As The Least Eventful Race Of The Weekend

The smaller classes delivered once again at the Austrian Grand Prix as a dramatic Moto2 encounter, which had one hair-raising moment, resulted in an added dimension to the championship fight, while Moto3 produced the sixth closest top 15 finish in the history of the class. Here are some of the big talking points from Moto2 and Moto3 last weekend.

The Crash

Had it not been for Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli’s terrifying collision in the MotoGP race, the sight of Hafizh Syahrin smashing into Enea Bastianini’s stricken machine on the exit of turn one would have been the takeaway image of the Austrian Grand Prix.

There were elements of Days of Thunder as the Malaysian was flung from his machine at well over 160 km/h, with parts of his Speed Up bike disintegrating around the oncoming pack. Dominique Aegerter, enjoying a replacement ride for NTS, narrowly missed his head. “Scary,” said the Swiss rider. “The debris literally flew around my ears. I was really lucky.”

This wasn’t the first time the Red Bull Ring’s turn one has witnessed such a spill. Remy Gardner’s collision with Alex Marquez so nearly ended in disaster at the same point a year ago, when Jorge Martin avoided hitting the Australian at 130 km/h by a matter of inches.

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2020 Austria Moto2 FP3 Result: Lowes Raises The Benchmark

The clouds that threatened proceedings early in the day gave way to large patches of blue sky by the time the intermediate class joined an almost entirely dry track, offering an unexpected opportunity to change the hierarchy in the combined top 14. The early rush led to an impressive number of cancelled lap times due to exceeding track limits but riders were quick on the pace from Friday. Luca Marini was one of the first improvers and placed himself at the top of the timesheets early on, a place he kept until the final ten minutes, when Sam Lowes improved the fastest time of the weekend.

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2020 Austria Moto2 FP2 Result: Lowes Goes Even Faster

Although track conditions had improved significantly by the end of the premier class session, Moto2 went out with rain flags waving once again, the much lighter showers not stopping riders from chasing a fast time. It took them a little bit to improve on the morning’s benchmark but the final couple of minutes saw a few people threaten the combined standings, Sam Lowes in particular appearing eager to improve his own top time and keep a firm grip on the headlines of the day.

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2020 Austria Moto2 FP1 Result: Lowes Ready For Battle

With rain forecast for the remaining practice sessions, Sam Lowes took the opportunity granted in FP1 to take top spot on the timesheets and did not let anyone touch his prime spot throughout the session. Plenty have tried though and Marco Bezzecchi came nearest, one hundredth of a second off the lead, with Augusto Fernandez only two hundredths slower than his teammate. Jorge Martin in fourth was still only a tenth off top spot, with Jorge Navarro completing the top five mere hundredths of a second behind.

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Brno Moto2 & Moto3 Review - Neil Morrison On Lowes' Podium, Roberts' Revival, A Fiery Foggia, And More

Sam Lowes leads Joe Roberts ing the Brno Moto2 race - Photo: Polarity Photo

In one of the most topsy-turvy rounds in recent memory, Moto2 and Moto3 added to the spectacle as certain riders triumphed while others bafflingly faded away. As always we’re on hand to take a look through some of the biggest talking points through both classes.

A calmer Lowes

There was good reason to believe Sam Lowes’ hopes of a strong championship finish were over before it had all started. A slow, innocuous testing fall at Jerez in early February ruptured tendons in his right shoulder, chipped the top of his humerus bone and deprived him of his entire preseason testing programme. That kind of injury isn’t one you just shake off; the joint still gives the Englishman considerable pain at the end of each day.

It was a nightmare start to life as a Marc VDS rider in what is a critical season. But how he has fought back has been exceptional. While fortunate the suspension of racing gave him added time to recover, there has been nothing lucky about performances since. A pair of fourth places at Jerez was a solid foundation to build on. And the Czech Grand Prix – where he was never outside the top two – resulted in a first podium finish since September, 2016.

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