If it’s usually the lightweight class that gives you a heart attack from start to finish, this time Moto2 picked up the baton and got the shindig red flagged after just two turns. After a few riders slid out at turn one, an unlucky Remy Gardner fell from third position around turn two and the domino effect took out a couple of other riders, including a pretty hefty fall for Alex Marquez. All riders were lucky not to get hit by the oncoming convoy but Gardner missed the restart as he was taken to the medical centre, conscious but quite battered, while the damage to Marquez’s machine got repaired in record time to allow him a pitlane restart.
The original grid lined up for a shortened 15 lap race and Augusto Fernandez nailed the start for a second time, the Spaniard showing the way to teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri, the Flexbox duo taking off at the front. Tom Luthi was the lead pursuer ahead of an impressive Xavi Vierge who staretd in 12th and immediately climbed into fourth. Poleman Navarro was down to fifth after a pretty tame launch off the line, with teammate Di Giannantonio keeping him company.
By lap four, the top three men stretched one second’s advantage while the Flexbox boys were exchanging fastest laps on the timesheets. With Luthi still chasing them at a respectable distance, the second group down the road included Navarro, Vierge, Brad Binder, Di Giannantonio and Sam Lowes. That was soon reduced to just three as Di Giannantonio lost some ground and Lowes hit the ground by lap seven.
If Baldassarri was soon putting pressure on his teammate and taking the lead in the final turn, Luthi was going backwards and allowed Navarro to make a comeback and join the provisional podium with eight laps left. However, the 1.6s gap to the two leaders seemed like a long way to go even for the rapid poleman, while Luthi kept close but struggled to fight back.
Fernandez was a team player for the final five laps, not showing any intention of attacking his championship leading teammate but keeping glued to his tail. Meanwhile, Navarro was flying and digging into that gap, the Spaniard finally catching up with his compatriot on the penultimate lap. At the start of the final lap, Baldassarri had seven tenths of defend and he did a good job with about three of those so Navarro would have needed another couple of turns to get a shot at victory.
Baldassarri eventually denied a home victory to Navarro and got a sweet advantage in the championship order. However, Spain did get two riders on the podium as Fernandez celebrated a return from injury with a third place. Luthi faded toward the end of the race but played it safe and took home some good points in fourth. Binder eventually won his race-long battle with Vierge, while Tetsuta Nagashima overcame some early technical trouble to finish seventh. Luca Marini, Nicolo Bulega and Iker Lecuona had impressive performances to complete the top ten, despite little of that being on camera.
Another win for Baldassarri secures his championship lead ahead of Luthi by 17 points. A pretty anonymous Schrotter is now third, another tenth points back, followed by Navarro. Gardner is demoted to fifth while Marquez ran a solitary race outside the point and dropped to sixth in the standings.
|2||9||Jorge NAVARRO||Speed Up||+0.359|
|12||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Speed Up||+12.708|
|13||77||Dominique AEGERTER||MV Agusta||+14.179|
|21||62||Stefano MANZI||MV Agusta||+27.887|
|88||Jorge MARTIN||KTM||8 Laps|
|22||Sam LOWES||Kalex||8 Laps|
|54||Mattia PASINI||KTM||10 Laps|
|24||Simone CORSI||Kalex||12 Laps|
|87||Remy GARDNER||Kalex||0 Lap|
|20||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA||Kalex||0 Lap|