The intermediate class race ended up being a fairly dramatic affair and it had nothing to do with the weather, which served sun all throughout the action. Jorge Martin came out on top at the end of a 13 lap sprint after a red flag halted proceedings early on. The Spaniard proved to be the strongest rider over the interrupted proceedings to secure his first win of the season. A consistent Luca Marini profited from Enea Bastianini’s misfortune to become the new championship leader from second place on the podium, while Marcel Schrotter sipped his first prosecco of the season in third.
Poleman Remy Gardner had made a decent start but Martin grabbed the lead into turn 1 and the Australian then got picked up by Schrotter at turn 3. Martin had stretched a gap of almost a second by the end of the third lap over Schrotter and Marini, while Marco Bezzecchi made the biggest progress in the first few laps, trailing his teammate by lap four. However, the race did not make it any further, as a big high side for Enea Bastianini coming out of turn 1 left his machine in the middle of the track and caused a red flag as several riders got tangled in the incident. Hafizh Syahrin was the unluckiest of the lot but with all riders avoiding serious injury, the race was restarted for 13 laps.
At the end of a lengthy cleanup operation, Martin lined up as the new poleman and in the absence of Bastianini, whose machine was brushed off the circuit in two pieces, the championship lead was up for grabs. Martin made another excellent start to fend off Marini and Schrotter, with Bezzecchi, Gardner and Tom Luthi in tow. Jorge Navarro was also in mix for the top ten when he crashed out at turn 10 before the end of the first lap.
By the second lap, only Marini managed to hold onto Martin, the duo putting a one second gap on the pursuers. The final provisional podium spot was being disputed by Gardner and Schrotter, once a couple of mistakes at turn 3 dropped Bezzecchi outside of the top ten, but the Australian blinked first and crashed out of third at turn one. Schrotter was left in a lonely third, with Lowes, Canet, Xavi Vierge, Augusto Fernandez, Luthi and a quickly recovering Bezzecchi making up the next group, one second and a half down the road.
Lap 7 saw Martin attempt an escape, several red hot sector times putting him almost a second ahead of Marini. With Schrotter in a comfortable third, Vierge was making fine progress to lead the chasing pack and had two seconds to find on the German, bringing Lowes, Canet and Bezzecchi with him. However, the foursome could not sit still enough to focus on chasing the podium and the exchanges between them allowed Schrotter’s gap to settle at around 1.5 seconds.
Despite enjoying a comfortable two second advantage at the front, Martin continued setting a fast pace for the final handful of laps to secure a clear win. While Marini and Schrotter were having pretty lonely rides in the remaining podium positions, the main action was between their chasers, Vierge, Lowes and Bezzecchi rubbing elbows in the battle for fourth. Vierge spent the most time at the front of that group but Lowes had the last laugh to snatch yet another fourth place from the Spaniard, after he ran wide at the final corner. After a last lap paint swap with Lowes, an unhappy Bezzecchi crossed the line in sixth. Over a second later, Luthi faded to seventh, ahead of Fernandez and Canet, while Joe Roberts completed the top ten.
He might have missed out on the win but Marini ends the day as the championship leader, five points ahead of an unfortunate Bastianini. Martin climbs to third, 19 points down on the leader, similarly to Lowes. Tetsuta Nagashima drops to fifth after crashing out on the fourth lap of the restarted race.
|9||44||Aron Canet||Speed Up||+10.023|
|17||62||Stefano Manzi||MV Agusta||+15.913|
|19||19||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Kalex||+18.830|
|20||24||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta||+22.614|
|21||21||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Speed Up||+25.079|
|87||Remy Gardner||Kalex||9 Laps|
|45||Tetsuta Nagashima||Kalex||10 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|9||Jorge Navarro||Speed Up||0 Lap|
|33||Enea Bastianini||Kalex||0 Lap|
|55||Hafizh Syahrin||Speed Up||0 Lap|
|57||Edgar Pons||Kalex||0 Lap|
|27||Andi Farid Izdihar||Kalex||0 Lap|