Spain’s Raul Fernandez took the fifth win of his rookie Moto2 season, despite undergoing surgery during the week for a broken bone in his right hand after a training incident.
Round 13 of the 2021 Moto2 season took us to the Motorland circuit in Aragon, and the weight of expectation sat firmly on the shoulders of Britain’s Sam Lowes. Holder of several Moto2 track records including most wins, most pole starts, best race lap and all time lap record, plus winning here in 2020, history seemed set to repeat itself after he qualified in pole position.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Fernandez, starting from 3rd place on the grid, passed his teammate Remy Gardner on the first lap to move up into 2nd and on lap 2 passed Lowes to take the lead. Doubts lingered over whether Raul would be able to maintain the blistering pace, but he held on to first place for the remainder of the race, with Lowes remaining comfortably in second until crashing out at turn 7 on lap 13. Fernandez crossed the finish line over 7 seconds ahead of 2nd place Gardner.
Tyre options for the weekend were medium or supersoft, with the vast majority of the field opting for the latter. Tyre preservation was a concern, and potentially a factor in the high rate of attrition, with crashes including Dalla Porta on lap 8, Lowes on lap 13, Bezzecchi on lap 10, Bulega on lap 18 and Chantra on lap 19, all fortunately escaping uninjured.
Gardner found himself in a battle for 3rd with Ai Ogura and Hector Garzo; on lap 5 he managed to gain and hold onto the place, with Garzo crashing out shortly after. Ogura dropped back to 7th place after being passed by Aron Canet and Marco Bezzecchi, and eventually finished 8th, even despite Bezzecchi crashing out on the corkscrew on lap 10.
The fight for third place then raged between Jorge Navarro, Aron Canet & Augusto Fernandez, swapping back and forth, with Augusto finally crossing the line 1.5 seconds behind second place Gardner.
Next weekend takes us to the San Marino Grand Prix, with Gardner maintaining his lead at the top of the championship with 251 points, 39 points ahead of second place Raul Fernandez. This weekend’s non-finishes for Bezzecchi and Lowes mean that the gap is widening between the Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates and the rest of the championship, but with five rounds still to go, what further surprises lie in store?
First fifteen riders:
1 Raul Fernandez SPA – Red Bull KTM Ajo – 25 points
2 Remy Gardner AUS – Red Bull KTM Ajo – 20
3 Augusto Fernandez SPA – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – 16
4 Jorge Navarro SPA – Lightech Speed Up – 13
5 Aron Canet SPA – Aspar Team Moto2 – 11
6 Fabio Di Giannantonio ITA – Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 – 10
7 Fermín Aldeguer SPA – +Ego Speed Up – 9
8 Ai Ogura JPN – IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia – 8
9 Tony Arbolino ITA Liqui Moly Intact GP – 7
10 Simone Corsi ITA – MV Agusta Forward Racing – 6
11 Marcel Schrotter GER – Liqui Moly Intact GP – 5
12 Marcos Ramirez SPA – American Racing – 4
13 Joe Roberts USA – Italtrans Racing Team – 3
14 Cameron Beaubier USA – American Racing – 2
15 Celestino Vietti ITA – SKY Racing Team VR46 – 1