Arbolino Masterclass Following Red Flag: Moto2 French GP Race

Tony Arbolino wins the red-flagged Moto2 French Grand Prix ahead of Filip Salac, who took his first podium in the dry, and Alonso Lopez following a three-rider crash on lap two.

After starting on pole, Sam Lowes had a good start, but Lopez was able to get past at turn two to take the lead of the race. Further down the field, Jake Dixon and Aron Canet brushed against each other but were both able to continue. Fermin Aldeguer was the big gainer during the first lap moving up from 11th place to fifth at the midway point of the lap.

Coming over the start-finish line for the first time, Arbolino overtook Lopez to lead the field. At turn two, Lowes caused a yellow flag after crashing when his front tyre locked. At the exit of turn five, Albert Arenas, Manuel Gonzalez and Canet were involved in a crash which initially resulted in a yellow flag followed by a red flag on lap 3.

Following the red flag, information was shared that all riders were conscious, and Canet was taken to the medical centre for further checks.

As three laps had not been completed, a shortened 14-lap race with original grid positions and a quick-start procedure was selected as the restart method. All riders were eligible for the restart.

All riders who were able to start the race made it out of the pitlane in time to start from their grid positions except for Lowes who was 5 seconds too late and therefore started the warmup lap from the pitlane and the race from the back of the grid.

From the restart, Arbolino got the best start and was able to take the race lead into the Dunlop Chicane. Pedro Acosta had a better restart the second time around moving up to fifth. Aldegueur was unable to make up as many places on the first lap, ending up in sixth place as he crossed the start-finish line.

Lopez and Acosta spent two laps fighting for second place which allowed Arbolino to break away from the rest of the field and Salac to catch them up. By lap four, Salac was able to get past Lopez, but Arbolino pulled out a 0.7-second lead over Acosta.

At turn 7 on lap 5, Acosta crashed out of second place promoting Salac to second place. Also on lap 5, Rory Skinner crashed out at turn 6.

Arbolino continued to extend the gap to 1.8s until he made a mistake on lap 6 allowing Salac to reduce the time between them to 0.7s.

Dixon was able to pass Aldeguer on lap 7, just before the Spanish rider received communication that he had received a long-lap penalty for taking a shortcut between turns 9 and 10. As Aldeguer completed his long-lap penalty, Sergio Garcia and Ai Ogura were able to pass him.

By lap 10, the gap between Arbolino and Salac had been at 0.5s at its lowest, and Salac kept setting laps faster than the Italian rider but was unable to do so before the chequered flag waved after fourteen laps. Lopez was able to cross the line in third place. Celestino Vietti finished just behind Lopez.

Dixon and Somkiat Chantra battled for fifth place until Dixon was able to pass the Thai rider at Garage Vert. Dixon and Chantra finished the race in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Barry Baltus was close behind the pair, crossing the line in seventh.

A few laps after his long-lap penalty, Aldeguer overtook the two riders who passed him earlier and finished 9 seconds behind the race winner.

After the crash during the first start, Lowes was able to salvage one point by finishing in 15th place.

FRENCH MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, LE MANS – RACE RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 22m 34.233s
2 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 22m 34.853s
3 Alonso Lopez SPA Lightech SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 22m 35.770s
4 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 22m 36.426s
5 Jake Dixon GBR Inde GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) 22m 37.274s
6 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 22m 38.408s
7 Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 22m 43.086s
8 Fermín Aldeguer SPA Lightech SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 22m 43.670s
9 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 22m 44.929s
10 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 22m 45.050s
11 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact (Kalex) 22m 45.821s
12 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 22m 46.361s
13 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 22m 46.570s
14 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 22m 47.294s
15 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 22m 47.928s
16 Sean Dylan Kelly USA American Racing (Kalex) 22m 48.866s
17 Marcos Ramirez SPA Forward Team (Forward) 22m 52.477s
18 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 22m 54.113s
19 Senna Agius AUS Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact (Kalex) 22m 56.848s
20 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 22m 56.917s
21 Lorenzo Dalla Porta ITA Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 22m 59.498s
22 Izan Guevara SPA Inde GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) 22m 59.580s
23 Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 23m 4.441s
  Alex Escrig SPA Forward Team (Forward) DNF
  Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) DNF
  Rory Skinner GBR American Racing (Kalex) DNF
  Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) DNS
  Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) DNS
  Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) DNS

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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