Some sunshine was allowed to break through the cloud cover for the intermediate class race and the sun truly smiled on Sam Lowes, the poleman securing an indisputable victory by almost three seconds, his first since 2021. The Marc VDS veteran denied victory for the local favourites but they seemed happy enough to join him on the podium, with Pedro Acosta in second and Alonso Lopez third.
Acosta made a promising start off the line, taking the lead into turn one, while Lowes traded places with Lopez early on and a rocket-quick Tony Arbolino went from 10th on the grid to fourth by turn three. Lowes managed to recover the lead at the final corner of the opening lap and it looked like Acosta was biding his time to retaliate, while the squabble between Lopez and Arbolino dropped them over a second behind the two leaders by lap four. It wasn’t just Lopez that the Italian had to contend with, as Ai Ogura and the fast starting duo of Filip Salac and Aron Canet were also in the mix and looking feisty straight away. A slow start for front row starter Jake Dixon dropped him another second back, in the company of Albert Arenas and he never really managed to close that gap significantly.
The status quo was maintained at the front for the next few laps, Lowes setting a hot pace and keeping Acosta at arm’s length, while Lopez had some breathing room down in third, two seconds behind the leaders and steadily distancing the rest of the chase, while Arbolino struggled to make a move stick on Ogura. The gaps continued to increase at the front, and the provisional podium looked pretty set, barring any mistakes, the main battle being the one for fourth, where Ogura was still fending off Arbolino and Canet. The fight lost its main contender when Ogura crashed out at turn one with nine laps remaining, just as he was being overtaken by Arbolino and the Italian was pushing to shake off Canet as well.
Back at the front, Lowes continued to extend his advantage, up to two and a half seconds with seven laps remaining and Acosta did not seem to have an answer to his pace but was happy enough with second place. Lopez continued a lonely ride to third five seconds back, while Arbolino was steadily distancing Canet as well. However, the final three laps saw a resurgence from Canet, the Spaniard closing in on Arbolino, but the Italian managed a safe buffer until the chequered flag to keep fourth place. Dixon fended off Chantra for sixth, while Arenas, Salac and Fermin Aldeguer completed the top 10 – despite a long lap penalty for the Speed Up rider.
Although he missed out on victory, Acosta leaves his home race leading the world championship but tied on points with Arbolino. Canet stays third, 22 points down, with Lopez promoted to fourth with a 29-point deficit and Lowes making a big jump to fifth, 31 points down.
|23||84||Zonta Van Den Goorbergh||Kalex||39.637|
|25||19||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Kalex||62.572|
|4||Sean Dylan Kelly||Kalex||12:08.7040|
I hope Sam can produce more form like this, maybe the championship won’t be as predicted, with Pedro just turning up.
In reply to Faultless by swiftnick
Pretty bloody impressive, for sure.
The infuriating conundrum of…
The infuriating conundrum of Sam Lowes. How can a rider who can put in a performance like this be the same guy who'll (most likely) crash out of next three rounds whilst circulating in 7th? Hopefully this year he can draw on that deep well of ability he has more consistently, it would be great to see him finally get that championship.