2020 Portimao Moto2 Race Result: Wizardry Of The Highest Level

The last title decider of the season finale proved to be an exceptional (and exceptionally tense) show, where all the main contenders featured at the front and rode out of their skin, only to get truly overshadowed by Remy Gardner. The poleman closed his season with a perfect race, claiming a maiden victory from pole and setting the fastest lap to take the checkered flag one big step ahead of everyone else. Luca Marini gave it his best in the title battle and led for most of the race, while Sam Lowes fought way beyond the pain barrier to keep in victory contention, but both men had to surrender the day’s trophy to Gardner and the number 1 medal to Enea Bastianini. The Italian missed out on the podium but got the sweetest cava of them all as he steps into the premier class as the reigning Moto2 world champion.

The tale of the championship decider started with Marini’s rocket launch off the line to get ahead of Gardner but the poleman quickly resumed the lead, inviting Bastianini to also sneak past Marini. Front row starter Fabio Di Giannantonio made a very poor start and then did not make it past turn 1, crashing out and taking Nicolo Bulega with him. Jorge Martin, Lowes and Augusto Fernandez closely followed the leaders, with Marco Bezzechi straight up to 7th, having started 12th on the grid.

Gardner was keen to stay at the front and extended a one second lead by lap 3, Bastianini leading the pursuit ahead of the likes of Marini, Martin and Lowes but with a big group queuing behind and waiting to pounce. Marini made his move on his compatriot and rival into turn 1 on lap 4 and that encouraged Lowes to follow his example later that lap, at turn 5. Bastianini’s early pace was not exceptional but the Italian was not panicking just yet as his rivals were pushing to reel in Gardner. Bastianini had some trouble with Fernandez next, who was hoping to help his teammate a little, while Bezzecchi, Martin, Tetsuta Nagashima and Lorenzo Baldassarri completed the chasing group.

On lap 6, Marini reduced Gardner’s gap to half a second and then to barely anything one lap later, with only Lowes able to keep up. Both Marini and Lowes quickly got past Gardner, with the Italian claiming the lead going into turn one on lap 8, turning up the heat on the title battle. The exchanges between Fernandez on Bastianini dropped them over half a second behind the provisional podium spots and once Fernandez settled the fight with Bastianini, he went on to chase the three leaders. The championship leader was left to fend off Bezzecchi, who was keen to improve his own as well as his teammate’s chances in the title battle. Bezzecchi made his move on Bastianini at the start of lap ten and Martin followed his example later that lap, leaving Bastianini with a provisional advantage of only 2 points in the title standings. Bastiniani fought back on Martin next time around at turn 1, but was keeping an eye on the group behind as well, as they closing in on the 1.5 seconds gap.

Things settled a little for the next few laps, Marini six tenths ahead of Lowes, with Fernandez keeping a safe distance behind his teammate but under attack from Gardner and with Bezzecchi, Bastianini and Martin not too far back either. After bravely holding on for the first half of the race, Lowes started to struggle with 12 laps remaining, the British rider running wide at turn 14 and allowing Gardner past. Bezzecchi was one second behind the podium positions, closely followed by Fernandez, while Bastianini and Martin continued to entertain each other in the battle for sixth place. Martin made a mistake with 11 laps to go and that gave Bastianini one second of breathing room.

Things were getting more interesting at the front with 8 laps remaining, Gardner closing in on Marini but both riders continued to post hot laps, with Lowes only half a second back. Bezzecchi had dropped two seconds back and still had company from Fernandez and Bastianini. Although sixth was good enough for Bastianini, the Italian got through Fernandez with 6 laps remaining and was eyeing Bezzecchi’s fourth place to secure the title, in case Lowes was to snatch the win. However, the Marc VDS rider was yoyo-ing back and forth on the victory battle and a moment at turn 13 with 6 laps remaining left him with one second to catch up on the leaders. Meanwhile, teammate Fernandez was keeping Bastianini busy once more in the fight for fifth and the likes of Martin and Roberts had caught up with the group as well, to further add to the Italian’s worries.

Back at the front, Gardner bided his time to attack Marini until the final two laps, when the decisive move came at turn 3 and Marini tried to fight back straight away but the Australian held onto the lead heading into the final lap. Gardner extended the gap to almost a second by the checkered flag by posting the fastest lap, dropping both Marini and Lowes who took the remaining podium positions. Bezzecchi held onto fourth place but Bastianini crossed the finish line as a world champion, with Marini and Lowes completing the top three of the season.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 87 Remy Gardner Kalex 39'35.476
2 10 Luca Marini Kalex +1.609
3 22 Sam Lowes Kalex +3.813
4 72 Marco Bezzecchi Kalex +8.437
5 33 Enea Bastianini Kalex +8.646
6 88 Jorge Martin Kalex +8.899
7 16 Joe Roberts Kalex +8.956
8 37 Augusto Fernandez Kalex +9.568
9 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex +10.367
10 97 Xavi Vierge Kalex +11.084
11 42 Marcos Ramirez Kalex +11.199
12 23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex +16.864
13 64 Bo Bendsneyder NTS +16.998
14 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex +18.550
15 44 Aron Canet Speed Up +20.169
16 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex +22.918
17 19 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex +27.141
18 35 Somkiat Chantra Kalex +27.303
19 62 Stefano Manzi MV Agusta +27.340
20 77 Dominique Aegerter NTS +44.924
21 55 Hafizh Syahrin Speed Up +51.163
Not Classified
  24 Simone Corsi MV Agusta 3 Laps
  27 Andi Farid Izdihar Kalex 6 Laps
  57 Edgar Pons Kalex 11 Laps
  99 Kasma Daniel Kalex 13 Laps
  9 Jorge Navarro Speed Up 18 Laps
  40 Hector Garzo Kalex 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Speed Up 0 Lap
  11 Nicolò Bulega Kalex 0 Lap
Round Number: 
15
2020
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Comments

I've never seen worse TV coverage of anything ever 

Plenty of shots of other people watching racing, though. Or just the backs of peoples' heads. Or just anything but the on-track action. I can't imagine who wants to watch other people watch racing 

I normaly really notice the endless and unnecessary pit box shots but today didn't seem so bad in relative terms.

As an aside, BT's comms (which I'm normally a big fan of) have taken a step down this year. Hodgson's rant on Friday morning about practice being extended was just embarrassing and made him sound like an old crank yelling at clouds. 

BT do a great job with what they're given in the feed. It's the feed that sucks 

If the BT commentary is so bad subscribe to the Dorna feed. As for the comments about 29 bikes in the race the reality is that there was both a battle for the race win and the battle for the championship to cover. This was the narrative of the race, not the riders at the back of the field. Their comparatively poor performance during the season have eliminated themselves from being of interest to the broadcasters vision director, especially in a sprint race. 

The point re: BT's commentary was that it appeared solely to be about the epic bravery and fortitude and wonderfulness and talent and grit and effort and stoicism and humour and good looks of the chap who finished third.

Remy got a mention, because of his dad, and at one point it was suggested that AF37 repay SL22's tuition by "accidentally" sending EB33 into the scenery.

Don't get me wrong, SL22's ride today *was* epic, but it was not the only thing happening.

I'm with DFH. I thought the Moto GP feed was pretty good. Birt and Day definitely earned themselves a few beers after the day they put in. Whoever thought of putting heart rate monitors on team managers is a genius!

The problem is the cuts. They will cut away from a rider making a pass to show us someone who seems to be watching it. Even in the replays they show people looking up or the back of someone's head. And heaven forbid someone crash. Then we have to watch them walk in the gravel, get on the scooter, get off the scooter, walk into garage door sit down and we lose 2 minutes of live racing. They ruin the flow of the telecast and it is so jarring. It is as if they have no idea what a motorcycle race is or why we would want to watch it. 

The problem is the cuts. They will cut away from a rider making a pass to show us someone who seems to be watching it. Even in the replays they show people looking up or the back of someone's head. And heaven forbid someone crash. Then we have to watch them walk in the gravel, get on the scooter, get off the scooter, walk into garage door sit down and we lose 2 minutes of live racing. They ruin the flow of the telecast and it is so jarring. It is as if they have no idea what a motorcycle race is or why we would want to watch it. 

The perennial cutaway from the winner crossing the line to watch the pit wall team jumping up and down, the fruity girfriend throwing her hair around, the team boss, the parents.. meanwhile the epic battle for 2nd 3rd etc.. is ignored and possibly shown 10 minutes later on a replay.

Congratulations to Remy Gardner on a fine first win! He rode a brilliant race and I appreciated his comment afterwards about how he was learning by following Marino. He'll be a force in the future when KTM moves him to MotoGP.

Congrats to Bastianini on his title, well deserved.

I learned to stop complaining about commentary and poor direction years ago. It's pointless.

The Dorna feed is good. Anyone who doesn't like the growling or hype of the announcers can switch to ambient which allows them to listen to just the motorcycles doing the talking.

Aaah, so you're the one who enjoys the sight of people looking up and at the backs of heads while racing is live. I watch of BT Sport and Fox 506 from Australia. It's nothing to do with announcers; they are great on both channels. It's the continual interruption of the flow of the broadcast with shots of nothing or of someone walking or anything at all so as to avoid showing live racing. I have never watched another sporting event where they cut away from the action to show inconsequential minutiae. I suppose it might be a Euro habit from broadcasting soccer where there is more excitement anywhere except the game on the field. Cutting from a rider passing another rider into a corner in order to show someone else watching it is pathetic.

Dorna and it's broadcast partners could certainly do a better job, but for my ~130 euro per year I think I get very good value watching on the motogp app through my tv. 

No commercials! Last year the NBA here in the U.S. even figured out how to insert a full ad in between free throws!

There are viewers that are not hard-core fans like us ( a significant other, e.g.) that may enjoy the social aspect more than the race, and they try to attract the fringe viewer.

I'll bet Miguel Oliviera was pretty stoked to have images of his proud family broadcast all over the world yesterday. The racers are stakeholders too.

I'm just as frustrated as you (wait, no I'm not. but I do find the cutaways frustrating sometimes). But I'm also kinda amazed, and thankful, that this season even happened, and I can watch.

That being said, I would definitely pay more to never, ever, see another on-bike camera butt shot again. Useless!

 

I would definitely pay more to never, ever, see another on-bike camera butt shot again. Useless!

Agreed! Also I'd like to never again see family members in the pit box (like Marquez' father). We're paying to watch the races, right? Although I must say whoever put the heart-rate monitor on Brivio was brilliant!

 

It's been a long, long time coming, but Remy's first victory in Moto2 is finally done.