Moto2: Vietti Takes First Win of Season

Celestino Vietti fought hard with Pedro Acosta to take his first win in Moto2 since the Catalan GP in 2022. Ai Ogura completed the podium with championship contender Tony Arbolino crossing the line in sixth place.

The race started strongly for Ogura after making a fantastic start, but this was overshadowed by Jake Dixon who slotted himself into second place when the pack reached turn one. Dixon attempted to continue his rise up the field by looking to overtake Acosta but was unable to do so.

Arbolino was able to make his way to fourth place and Vietti dropped to fifth place. On the second lap, Arbolino ran wide at the chicane and Vietti was able to get past him.

At turn three on lap three, there was a crash between Sam Lowes and Darryn Binder which resulted in the South African rider being taken to the medical centre and being declared unfit due to fractured vertebrae.

Acosta started to pull away from Dixon and Ogura at the front of the field, extending his lead to around one second and was setting consistent fastest laps with no pressure from the riders behind him.

Both Alonso Lopez and Albert Arenas crashed on the fifth lap at turns two and three respectively. On the same lap, Ogura was able to get past Dixon to take second place.

Acosta was able to increase his lead to Ogura and Dixon to almost two seconds due to the pair fighting each other over second place. Ogura made a mistake on lap seven to allow Dixon to get past him at turn three, but the Japanese rider was able to get back at him at the next corner. Vietti joined the fighting pair in the hunt to catch Acosta.

Manuel Gonzalez crashed at the third corner on lap eight causing a yellow flag in that sector.

With Dixon back in third place, Vietti started to look for places to overtake the Brit and was able to into turn one on the ninth lap with the Italian rider taking the inside line. Ogura started to reduce the gap to the leader Acosta, whilst the battle for third occurred behind him.

Somkiat Chantra also caught up to the chasing group by lap ten. On the same lap, Joe Roberts crashed at turn three. The American rider retired on lap thirteen.

Arenas had a second crash at turn six on lap eleven and Aron Canet also crashed on that lap but at turn nine.

By lap thirteen, Vietti was on the back of Ogura and was looking to make a move past the IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider and was able to on the straight just before turn four. Ogura tried to make the move back on the Fanatic Racing rider over the start-finish straight but was unable to.

The front tire on Acosta’s bike started to go away from him and he began making mistakes, allowing Vietti to catch up to him. The gap reduced from two seconds to just under half a second. This was not helped by Acosta receiving a track limits warning.

Lap 18 was the lucky lap for Vietti as he was able to get past Acosta to take the lead at turn six. The Italian rider kept Acosta behind him, using the defensive line but Acosta was able to stay on his rear tyre. Vietti and Acosta began to break away from Ogura behind them, creating a three second gap.

By lap 21, Acosta was really struggling with his front tyre and this resulted in a wobble at turn nine and this caused him to lose some time to the leader.

Vietti crossed the line with a 1.5 second lead over Acosta who in turn had a 3.5s gap to Ogura. Dixon finished the race in fourth place with Chantra and Arbolino followed the Brit. Filip Salac had a good race ending it in seventh place, followed by Sergio Garcia, Fermin Aldeguer and Lukas Tulovic who rounded out the top ten.

Feature Image Credit: Joel Cooper Photography LTD

AUSTRIAN MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, RED BULL RING – RACE RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 36m 25.093s
2 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 36m 26.528s
3 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 36m 30.282s
4 Jake Dixon GBR Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 36m 31.238s
5 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 36m 33.728s
6 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 36m 39.147s
7 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 36m 39.585s
8 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 36m 41.538s
9 Fermín Aldeguer SPA CAG SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 36m 42.271s
10 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 37m 0.454s
11 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 37m 2.948s
12 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 37m 4.644s
13 Izan Guevara SPA Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 37m 5.306s
14 Marcos Ramirez SPA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 37m 5.503s
15 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 37m 6.191s
16 Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 37m 8.539s
17 Alberto Surra ITA Forward Team (Forward) 37m 10.111s
18 Rory Skinner GBR OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 37m 12.715s
19 Mattia Rato ITA Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 37m 14.954s
20 Kohta Nozane JPN Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 37m 22.132s
21 Alonso Lopez SPA CAG SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 37m 34.357s
22 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 37m 35.607s
  Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) DNF
  Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) DNF
  Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) DNF
  Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) DNF
  Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) DNF
  Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) DNF

 

 

 

Moto2: Acosta Grabs Third Pole of the Season

After two deleted lap times, Pedro Acosta took his third pole position of the year around the Red Bull Ring in Austria. He is joined on the front row with Ai Ogura and Celestino Vietti.

The first round of qualifying got underway, and all the riders came out of the pits, trying to set a time to get themselves into the top four to try and qualify in the top 18. The top four stayed relatively consistent throughout the session and Sergio Garcia ended the session at the top.

Garcia was joined by Lukas Tulovic, Dennis Foggia and Darryn Binder who all made it through to the second round of qualifying.

All riders except Ogura and Tulovic went out as soon as the second session started to try and take advantage of the track being sightly empty. Jake Dixon placed himself in a good spot behind Somkiat Chantra, who really enjoys riding around this circuit, for his first run.

A brief yellow flag came out when Acosta crashed at the chicane, but he and his bike were both okay, meaning that he could continue touring the circuit. The Spaniard started to turn up the intensity by setting the fastest second and third sectors before pitting to let his team check his bike.

The first representative lap time was set by Vietti and it was a 1:34.698, which was slower than lap times set in the morning practice session due to the increase in the track temperature.

Aron Canet also crashed at the chicane but was also able to continue.

On his final flying lap of the first part of the session, Vietti was able to improve on his own time by two tenths, solidifying his position at the top of the pile.

Albert Arenas at the Austrian 2023 Moto2 Qualifiying. Image courtesy of KTM/Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)

At the halfway point, all the riders came into the pits to discuss changes with their bikes and ensure that they knew the run plan for the second half of the session.

The riders started to come out of the pits, but Ogura had left the pits early and was able to set the fastest time of the session. But he would not be holding on to the top spot for long as Acosta came out of the pits with a point to prove after his earlier crash.

His first flying lap contained three of the fastest sectors of the session and he jumped to the top of the pile setting a 1:34.040 with just two minutes to go.

With less than a minute to go, Sam Lowes crashed at turn ten bringing out a yellow flag which caused various lap times to be deleted including one for Acosta which was down into the 1:33’s.

Alonso Lopez crashed at turn one bringing out a yellow flag but most riders had already set their fastest time, meaning that it did not impact anyone significantly.

Acosta, Ogura and Vietti will start the race from the front row and Dixon, Chantra and Fermin Aldeguer will be on the second row of the grid. The third row of the grid is populated with Tony Arbolino, who needs to score some points to ensure that Acosta does not begin to get out of touch in the championship, Albert Arenas and Manuel Gonzales. Canet rounds out the top ten.

Feature image credit: KTM/Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)

2023 AUSTRIAN MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, RED BULL RING – QUALIFYING RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 34.040s
2 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 34.311s
3 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 1m 34.445s
4 Jake Dixon GBR Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 1m 34.532s
5 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 34.590s
6 Fermín Aldeguer SPA CAG SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 34.639s
7 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 34.728s
8 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 34.737s
9 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 1m 34.857s
10 Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 34.859s
11 Alonso Lopez SPA CAG SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 35.045s
12 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 35.048s
13 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 35.082s
14 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.197s
15 Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 35.209s
16 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 35.311s
17 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.605s
18 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 35.676s
19 Izan Guevara SPA Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 1m 35.222s
20 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 35.289s
21 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.304s
22 Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 1m 35.316s
23 Marcos Ramirez SPA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 1m 35.349s
24 Rory Skinner GBR OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 1m 35.380s
25 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 35.554s
26 Alberto Surra ITA Forward Team (Forward) 1m 35.675s
27 Kohta Nozane JPN Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 1m 35.919s
28 Mattia Rato ITA Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 36.125s

 

Moto2: Dixon Races to First Grand Prix Win

Jake Dixon takes his first-ever Grand Prix win at Assen after an incredible race. He was joined by Ai Ogura and Pedro Acosta on the podium.

Both Alonso Lopez and Ogura had a good start off the line, but Lopez was able to hold onto the lead from pole position. Sam Lowes and Dixon lost places off the start with Lowes dropping to tenth. Tony Arbolino capitalised on the bad starts and moved himself up from tenth on the grid to sixth place.

Into the final chicane, Acosta was able to get past the championship leader Arbolino. The Spaniard continued to ride fast as he set the fastest time on the second tour of the circuit.

Lopez began to extend his lead out from Ogura to over half a second. Fermin Aldeguer was riding in fourth place but continued to lose time to the riders ahead of him, dropping over one second behind Dixon on the third lap.

Arbolino was unable to continue his move up the field and started falling down the grid from lap five.

Acosta started to close the gap to Dixon, who in turn was attempting to get past Ogura but failed.

Dixon and Ogura started to catch up to then race leader Lopez by lap six and worked together to bring the gap down.

Aldeguer cut the chicane on lap seven and was given a long lap penalty as the stewards determined that he did not lose enough time when returning to the track. The Beta Tools SpeedUp rider was in fourth place when it was given.

Dixon finally got past Ogura into turn one on lap nine and Arbolino was able to get past Albert Arenas on the same lap. After dispatching Ogura, Dixon continued to close in on Lopez.

On lap ten, Dixon looked for a move past Lopez at turn one but was unable to get past. Somkiat Chantra crashed at turn one on the same lap, causing a yellow flag in sector one.

The long lap loop had been catching some riders out, but Aldeguer completed it without an issue. He went into it fast but was still able to brake when he needed to and did not venture onto the green. Due to this, Arbolino made a mistake allowing Aron Canet to get past.

The battle for fourth place between Acosta and Ogura continued through lap eleven with the Spaniard trying to move on the Japanese rider but it could not stick. Dixon was also looking for a space around Lopez to try and take the lead.

Dixon got a good run out of the final corner and was able to overtake Lopez into turn one to lead the race. After this overtake, Lopez began to drop down the order as Ogura was able to pass him into the final chicane and Acosta passed him on the next lap.

Ogura and Acosta were both faster than Dixon on lap fourteen, eating slightly into his lead and the Brit lost the lead of the race on lap fifteen by running wide at turn five. But into the final chicane, Acosta lost front grip and had to make an amazing save to keep himself in the race, dropping himself to third. The stewards gave Acosta a long lap penalty for this due to him not losing one second in the sector.

After these mistakes, Ogura was able to extend the lead at the front of the race to just over one second, but Dixon was able to save some tyre and started to catch up to the Japanese rider. He began setting personal best laps, slowly reducing the gap between himself and first place.

Acosta took his long lap penalty on the nineteenth lap but did make a mistake by running onto the green paint. This would usually mean that the rider would need to retake the loop, but the stewards were happy with the penalty, even though he did not lose any places.

Dixon was able to close the gap up to less than two-tenths of a second on lap nineteen and got a brilliant drive out of the final chicane on the following lap. The slipstream was on the side of Dixon who sped past Ogura across the start-finish straight, but they touched into the first corner. Ogura ran wide but did not drop any places.

The lead into the final lap for Dixon was over one second and he comfortably completed the final tour of the circuit to cross the line in first place to win his first-ever Grand Prix race.

Aldeguer improved up to fourth place and was looking to make a move on Acosta but was unable to.

Lopez finished the race in sixth place ahead of Arbolino, Manuel Gonzalez, Arenas and Vietti who closed out the top ten.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

DUTCH MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, ASSEN – RACE RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Jake Dixon GBR Inde GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 35m 43.411s
2 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 35m 44.745s
3 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 35m 47.859s
4 Fermín Aldeguer SPA Beta Tools SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 35m 47.898s
5 Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 35m 48.295s
6 Alonso Lopez SPA Beta Tools SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 35m 52.966s
7 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 53.036s
8 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 35m 53.958s
9 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 35m 54.026s
10 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 35m 54.172s
11 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 59.375s
12 Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 36m 1.645s
13 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 36m 3.819s
14 Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 36m 4.050s
15 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 36m 7.903s
16 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 36m 12.827s
17 Carlos Tatay SPA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 36m 15.851s
18 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 36m 18.428s
19 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 36m 18.646s
20 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 36m 33.805s
21 Taiga Hada JPN Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 36m 53.179s
22 Yeray Ruiz SPA Forward Team (Forward) +3 laps
  Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) DNF
  Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) DNF
  Alex Escrig SPA Forward Team (Forward) DNF
  Izan Guevara SPA Inde GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) DNF
  Sean Dylan Kelly USA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) DNF
  Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) DNF

 

Moto2: Acosta Controls German GP to Take Win

Pedro Acosta stormed to victory after a poor start and had to pass Tony Arbolino for the lead on lap one into the Sachsencurve. Arbolino was able to hold off a late charge from Jake Dixon for second place.

Off the line, Aron Canet did not get a good start and dropped down a place behind Alonso Lopez. Arbolino got a brilliant start and was able to take the lead into turn one, ahead of Acosta. Further down in the pack, Darryn Binder and Bo Bendsneyder were taken out by Jeremy Alcoba, who received a long lap penalty for this incident.

Arbolino was able to hold onto the lead until turn 12, where Acosta snuck past the Italian rider to take the lead.

Dixon made a mistake on lap two, allowing Lopez and Canet to get past, dropping him to fifth place on the road.

By the third lap, Acosta and Arbolino were beginning to break away from the rest of the pack, pulling the gap out to one second. Sam Lowes made a mistake dropping him down to ninth place.

After dropping down earlier in the race, Dixon was able to get back past Lopez into turn one, restoring his place towards the front of the field.

Lukas Tulovic was unfortunate to receive a track limits warning on lap 5 but he crashed at the penultimate corner on the next lap, causing a yellow flag in sector four. He was taken to the medical centre following this incident.

Acosta began to increase the gap to Arbolino behind him, which was 1 second at the end of six and the Italian continued to stay ahead of Canet. One lap later, Canet crashed at the final corner causing another yellow flag in the final sector.

Celestino Vietti made a place up on Manuel Gonzales and Somkiat Chantra tried to overtake Lopez but was unsuccessful on lap 8. However, on the next lap Chantra was able to get past on the start finish straight, taking fourth place away from the Spaniard.

Another crasher at the final corner was Izan Guevara, causing another yellow flag.

Acosta continued to increase the gap to Arbolino to 2.5 seconds and continued to lead the race at the front. Gonzalez was able to get past Vietti at the Sachencurve and then Lowes was also able to get past.

Dixon started to close the gap down to Arbolino on lap 14 by setting lap times comparable with the race leader, Acosta. By lap 16, Dixon was only 0.6 seconds behind the Italian. The rider behind Dixon was Chantra who was over 3 seconds behind, so the Brit did not need to worry about being caught from behind.

Fermin Aldeguer and Vietti were able to get past Albert Arenas who made a mistake. On the same lap, Joe Roberts also made a mistake and crashed at turn 16.

Arbolino continued to open out the gap to Dixon for a few laps but the Polar Cube GASGAS Aspar Team rider was able to find fast times once again and by lap 23, he was incredibly close to Arbolino and attempted to get past.

Acosta could not afford to make any mistakes on the final few laps, especially as the riders behind him were battling it out. He continued to make his way around the circuit without any incident and was able to come across the line with a three second gap to take his fourth win of the season and close up Arbolino’s lead in the championship.

Dixon and Acosta continued to battle during the final laps of the race but Arbolino was able to make his bike the widest on the track and was able to hold onto second place.

Chantra had his best finish of the season in fourth place. Lopez, Gonzales, Lowes, Aldeguer, Arenas and Vietti completed the top ten. Filip Salac was only able to finish in thirteenth place, adding a handful of points to his tally.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta had to retire his bike early in the race.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

GERMAN MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, SACHSENRING – RACE RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 35m 15.315s
2 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 18.045s
3 Jake Dixon GBR Polar Cube GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 35m 18.140s
4 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 35m 24.328s
5 Alonso Lopez SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 35m 27.589s
6 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 35m 28.855s
7 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 29.772s
8 Fermín Aldeguer SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 35m 30.368s
9 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 35m 30.534s
10 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 35m 30.712s
11 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 35m 37.519s
12 Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 35m 38.793s
13 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 35m 38.901s
14 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 35m 39.194s
15 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 40.262s
16 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 35m 43.763s
17 Sean Dylan Kelly USA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 35m 47.889s
18 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 35m 50.556s
19 Carlos Tatay SPA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 35m 51.945s
20 Marcos Ramirez SPA Forward Team (Forward) 36m 4.105s
21 Taiga Hada JPN Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 36m 27.081s
22 Kasma Daniel MAL Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 36m 38.746s
Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) DNF
Lorenzo Dalla Porta ITA Forward Team (Forward) DNF
Izan Guevara SPA Polar Cube GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) DNF
Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) DNF
Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) DNF
Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) DNF
Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) DNF

Moto2: Acosta Storms to Moto2 Pole Position

Championship hopeful Pedro Acosta set a time that just couldn’t be beaten by any other rider to start on pole for tomorrow’s race. He will start ahead of championship leader Tony Arbolino and Jake Dixon.

After getting pole last weekend at Mugello, Aron Canet struggled in the one dry practice session that the Moto2 riders experienced on Friday and was unable to set a fast time. This meant he needed to go through the first qualifying session at Sachsenring this weekend. Following the first set of flying laps, he was third behind Barry Baltus and Darryn Binder.

Binder made the decision not to go out for a second time and this would come back to bite as he was eventually dropped out of the top four and did not make it through to the second qualifying session. With 90 seconds to go, Lukas Tulovic also missed out on the top four by 15 thousandths of a second.

During the final run of Q1, Ai Ogura was at the front of a train containing Somkiat Chantra and Canet. Ogura set a good time, but the tow he provided to the riders behind him meant they were able to set faster times than him.

Baltus, Canet, Chantra and Sergio Garcia set the four fastest times allowing them to progress to the second session.

The next fifteen minutes on the track were dedicated to setting the positions for the top 18 riders on the grid. All riders went out early in the session to set representative lap times in case they were hindered later due to red or yellow flags.

Following these first laps, Arbolino had the fastest time followed by Canet, Alonso Lopez, Filip Salac and Acosta rounding out the top 5. Baltus and Dixon jumped up to third and fourth following their second flying laps, but Celestino Vietti dropped them both down after setting a slightly faster lap.

Half the field came in at the halfway point of the session to discuss changes with their crew chiefs and some changed bikes to see if that would improve the times they could set. Chantra was one of the riders who received the call to change his bike.

Albert Arenas set a good lap time to bring himself up to fourth place, just before Salac crashed at turn one bringing out the yellow flags for the riders who had just crossed the timing line.

Acosta and Lowes were in sector three when the yellow flags came out so their laps were unaffected by the caution and the Spaniard set a lap time 0.165s faster than the time set by Arbolino. Lowes slotted into third place with his time.

Lopez and Canet both set times faster than the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team rider, going to third and fourth respectively. Dixon crossed the line with a few moments to spare, setting a time that was only good enough for seventh place but he continued around, taking advantage of the fact that he could have one more flying lap.

When the chequered flag came out, Arbolino couldn’t set a faster time than Acosta. But the Spaniard, Dixon and Lowes were still on fast laps so all eyes were on them to see where they would end up on tomorrow’s grid.

The only rider of those three who set a faster lap time was Dixon who was working the bike incredibly hard through turn 12 and was able to set a 1:24.158 which was good enough for third place.

Canet, Lopez and Lowes will be starting on the second row. Chantra was able to come through Q1 to start the race in seventh place and will be joined by Fermin Aldeguer and Arenas on the third row. Garcia, Vietti and Manuel Gonzales make up the fourth row.

 Feature Image credit: MotoGP

2023 GERMAN MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, SACHSENRING – QUALIFYING RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 23.858s
2 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 24.127s
3 Jake Dixon GBR Polar Cube GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 1m 24.158s
4 Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 24.204s
5 Alonso Lopez SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 24.264s
6 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 24.269s
7 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 24.270s
8 Fermín Aldeguer SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 24.280s
9 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 24.380s
10 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 24.448s
11 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 1m 24.478s
12 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 1m 24.516s
13 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 24.599s
14 Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 24.677s
15 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 24.747s
16 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 24.909s
17 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 24.930s
18 Sean Dylan Kelly USA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 1m 25.519s
19 Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 24.612s
20 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 24.684s
21 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 24.763s
22 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 24.787s
23 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 25.163s
24 Marcos Ramirez SPA Forward Team (Forward) 1m 25.600s
25 Lorenzo Dalla Porta ITA Forward Team (Forward) 1m 25.713s
26 Carlos Tatay SPA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 1m 25.900s
27 Izan Guevara SPA Polar Cube GASGAS Aspar Team (Kalex) 1m 25.911s
28 Kasma Daniel MAL Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 1m 26.125s
29 Taiga Hada JPN Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 26.393s

 

Moto2: Canet Takes Pole After Crash

Following two pole positions in a row, Sam Lowes was hoping to have a successful qualifying at Mugello this weekend but the best he could do was third place. Aron Canet crashed out in the second qualifying session but the time he set in the first half of the session, a 1:50.796, was too good for any rider to beat and he will line up on pole position tomorrow, dependent on the medical review he will have before the race starts tomorrow.

The top four spots in the first qualifying session were constantly changing but it seemed to be the same four riders who seemed most comfortable on the Italian asphalt.

Darryn Binder was so confident that he did not need to go out for a second time in the session with the time he set to take second place, behind Ai Ogura, at the halfway point. Even with all the other riders out on track, he was safe and finished the session in fourth place. Jeremy Alcoba and Joe Roberts both set faster times than Binder, dropping him down to fourth fastest.

The riders who made it through to Q2 from Q1 were Roberts, Ogura, Alcoba and Binder.

All riders went out at the start of Q2 to set some banker laps. After the first few tours of the circuit, Canet topped the timesheet with a 1:15.089, followed by Lowes and Manuel Gonzalez.

With nine and half minutes remaining on the clock, Pedro Acosta took the top spot away from Canet, but the Pons Wegow Los40 rider was able to take the position back almost immediately.

At the halfway point of the session, all riders except for Mattia Pasini had set a representative lap time.

With six minutes to go, provisional pole sitter Canet crashed out at the exit of turn three and he lost his visor through the crash. He was taken to the medical centre and following a review, a small bone infraction was found on the ring and little fingers of his right hand. The doctors have decided to review him tomorrow before the race before they make the decision on whether he is fit to race.

Ogura also crashed during the session at turn 12.

At the end of the session, no rider was able to put together a good lap. Alonso Lopez and Celestino Vietti both set fast sectors 1 and 2 but were not able to improve in the third and fourth sectors.

Lining up on the front row alongside Canet will be Acosta and Lowes, who continues his streak of starting on the front row. Roberts, Filip Salac and Jake Dixon fill up the second row. Vietti, Fermin Aldeguer and Lopez are the riders who will start on the third row.

Championship leader Tony Arbolino will start tomorrow’s race from tenth on the grid.

Rory Skinner was injured in the morning practice session due to a collision with Alcoba, forcing him to withdraw from the race and move his focus onto the next round in Sachsenring.

2023 ITALIAN MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, MUGELLO – QUALIFYING RESULTS
POS RIDER NAT TEAM BIKE TIME
1 Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 50.796s
2 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 50.955s
3 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 50.958s
4 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 51.008s
5 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 51.026s
6 Jake Dixon GBR Autosolar GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) 1m 51.038s
7 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 1m 51.097s
8 Fermín Aldeguer SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 51.129s
9 Alonso Lopez SPA MB Conveyors SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 1m 51.145s
10 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 51.245s
11 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 1m 51.325s
12 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 1m 51.519s
13 Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 51.582s
14 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 51.696s
15 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 1m 51.737s
16 Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 1m 51.748s
17 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 51.824s
18 Mattia Pasini ITA Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 52.237s
19 Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 51.741s
20 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 51.975s
21 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 51.979s
22 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 1m 51.983s
23 Sean Dylan Kelly USA OnlyFans American Racing (Kalex) 1m 52.202s
24 Izan Guevara SPA Autosolar GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) 1m 52.280s
25 Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 1m 52.334s
26 Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 52.356s
27 Marcos Ramirez SPA Forward Team (Forward) 1m 52.722s
28 Taiga Hada JPN Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 53.172s
29 Lorenzo Dalla Porta ITA Forward Team (Forward) 1m 53.489s
30 Kasma Daniel MAL Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 M (Kalex) 1m 54.277s

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto2: Argentinian GP Preview

celestino vietti and fermin aldeguer moto2

After last weekend’s curtain raiser in Portugal, the MotoGP circus heads to the Americas for the second round of the 2023 season.

The Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, located in northern Argentina, will host what promises to be an exciting weekend of two-wheeled action. The 4.8km circuit will demand nothing but the the best from the riders. The circuit is seldom used outside of MotoGP and is expected to be extremely dirty. With teams still adapting to the new weekend schedule, the tricky conditions will only add to the unpredictability.

After cruising to victory in the first round, Pedro Acosta is being tipped by almost everyone to top the podium again. The former Moto3 champion has hit the ground running and will be looking to make amends after missing multiple races last season through injury. The 18-year-old threw down the gauntlet with a dominating ride in Portugal, he will be the man to beat this weekend.

Aron Canet was the only rider capable of matching Acosta’s pace in Portimão. The Spaniard finished 2nd for the 10th time in Moto2 and remains in search of his first win in the intermediate class. After finishing 4th in Argentina last season, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on him this weekend.

Last year’s winner, Celestino Vietti, will be hoping to replicate his success on Sunday. After a promising start to his 2022 campaign, the Italian rider had a tough time keeping his VR46 machinery upright. He crashed out of a number of races and his hopes of winning the Moto2 Championship faded quickly. After joining the newly formed Fantic Racing during the offseason, the 21-year-old will be hoping to build on his solid points finish last weekend in Portimão.

Vietti was joined on the podium last season by the Honda Team Asia duo of Somkiat Chantra and Ai Ogura. The latter missed the opening round in Portugal after injuring his wrist during the winter. The Japanese rider has been declared fit and will kickstart his campaign this weekend.

Another rider who impressed last time out in Argentina is 17-year-old Fermin Aldeguer. He stunned the field in qualifying, taking his maiden pole position at just 16 years of age. Unfortunately, the Spaniard crashed out whilst challenging Vietti for the lead, so there’s no doubt he’ll be chomping at the bit to get out on track.

The hopes of British fans will once again rest on the shoulders of Jake Dixon and Sam Lowes. The pair finished 6th and 7th respectively last weekend and both finished inside the top 10 on their last visit to Argentina.

According to the forecast, weather could play a key role throughout the weekend. Rain is likely to be a factor on Friday which will keep teams on their toes with showers a possibility on Sunday. Temperature’s are expected to be in the low-to-mid-20s. The race is scheduled to start at 12:15pm local time (4:15pm GMT).

Feature Image: MotoGP

Moto2: Acosta Dominates Season Opener

pedro acosta portuguese Moto2

Pedro Acosta, labelled by many as the favourite to become the 2023 Moto2 World Champion, vindicated those predictions with a flawless ride in the Algarve.

The Red Bull KTM Team Ajo rider barely broke a sweat enroute to the first of what is likely to be many race wins this season.

After a solid performance on Saturday, Czech rider Filip Salac earned his first pole position in Moto2. He was joined on the front row by Aron Canet, starting 2nd, and the aforementioned Acosta, starting 3rd.

It was Canet who led the field down to turn one on the back of a great launch, with Salac hot on his heels. The polesitter briefly recovered the lead at the start of lap two, before he was shuffled backwards by Canet and Acosta.

There were frantic scenes behind the leaders too, as Bo Bendsneyder was taken out by Alonso Lopez. The Spaniard was given a long lap penalty for his troubles. Moments later Acosta assumed the lead of the race – He would now hold it until the chequered flag was waved.

After joining the newly formed Fantic Racing over the winter, Celestino Vietti made some early progress before serving his double long lap penalty which was carried over from last season’s final race in Valencia.

With the lead pair pulling away from the rest of the field, Marc VDS rider Tony Arbolino muscled his way into third. He then set about the impossible task of reeling in both Acosta and Canet.

After a disappointing qualifying session, Britain’s Jake Dixon had made steady progress through the field. At the halfway stage he was enjoying a good battle with Moto2 rookie, Darryn Binder. The pair exchanged positions before leapfrogging Jeremy Alcoba. Moments later, a mistake from Binder caused him to slide off the asphalt. The South African was able to re-join the race.

Despite Canet’s best efforts, he wasn’t able to challenge Acosta and by the end of the race, the gap between the two was well over a second. The former Moto3 champion looked unstoppable, kickstarting his campaign in style with a flawless ride.

Canet, still in search of his first Moto2 win, finished 2nd for the tenth time in the intermediate class. It was an impressive performance from Arbolino who brought his Kalex home in 3rd.

The British riders had a good day. Dixon managed to claim 6th after making good progress from the fourth row on the grid. Sam Lowes finished just behind him in 7th. Rory Skinner built on his wildcard appearances last season. The Scotsman, now a fulltime rider in the class, finished in 22nd.

After his lap 15 fall, Binder recovered to finish 16th, just missing out on the points in his first Moto2 start. Moto3 graduates Sergio Garcia and Dennis Foggia looked impressive, finishing 15th and 18th respectively.

Feature Image: MotoGP

Moto2: Maiden Pole for Acosta at Le Mans

Having previously never started a Moto2 race from the front row, rookie Pedro Acosta will have the honours of leading the field off the line for tomorrow’s race as he clinched his maiden pole. He will be joined on the front row by Jake Dion and Augusto Fernandez, as Sam Lowes and Ai Ogura both crash out.

Before the 2022 Moto2 season had begun, many had their sights set on rookie rider Pedro Acosta and predicted he would be a title contender. However as the season kicked off Acosta was nowhere to be seen, unable to qualify higher than 10th or finish a race higher than seventh.

With the sun shining down on the Le Mans circuit, it seemed that today would be Acosta’s day. He hit the top of the timing sheets with over three minutes remaining in Q2, with a time of 1:35.803 that no one was able to challenge.

Joining him on the front row will be Jake Dixon, who was able to put together a brilliant lap despite seeming to struggle to find his flow all weekend, and Augusto Fernandez.

Lining up in sixth for tomorrow’s race will be new boy, Alonso Lopez, who is replacing Romano Fenati. On his first step up from Moto3, he laid down an impressive performance to secure a second row start for tomorrow.

It was a much trickier day for Sam Lowes and the two Honda Team Asia riders, Ai Ogura and Somkiat Chantra, as all three riders crashed during Q2. However, thanks to some early banker laps, they will start tomorrow’s race from fourth, eighth and 11th respectively.

Our championship leader, Celestino Vietti, has struggled for pace all weekend, forcing him to join the Q1 group. These woes continued throughout the session as he failed to sit within the top three even once in the session. He was unable to progress to Q2 and will start tomorrow’s race from the lowly 19th spot on the grid.

Image Credit: MotoGP
QUALIFYING 1

As everyone completed their first flying laps of the session, it was Manuel Gonzalez who jumped to the top of the timing sheets first. He set an initial benchmark of 1:36.645. Behind him was Lorenzo Dalla Porta in second, Jorge Navarro third and Vietti in fourth – all had provisionally booked a place in to Q2.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Alessandro Zaccone crashed at Turn 8, bringing out yellow flags in Sector 3. Less than a minute later, Sean Dylan Kelly crashed at Turn 14 to bring out yet more yellow flags, this time in at Sector 4. The biggest looser from they yellow flags seemed to be Joe Roberts who was just appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

With just less than five minutes of the session remaining, Niccolo Antonelli became the next victim of the tricky Le Mans circuit, as he crashed at Turn 8. Lucky he was unscathed as he returned to action following surgery for arm pump earlier in the week.

At this point in the session, Dalla Porta was at the top of the timing sheet with Fermin Aldeguer, Bo Bendsneyder and Navarro just behind him. There was just 0.04s covering there top four riders and everything was still to play form.

Sitting just outside the top four was Vietti who returned to tack for some final flying laps with four minutes left in the session. He had just enough time to complete three flying laps and, whilst each was an improvement on the last, he still wasn’t able to break in to that elusive leading group. Whilst his lap times were fastest that most in sectors one and two, he was loosing out considerably in sectors three and four.

The checkered flag fell and with no one able to improve on their lap times or challenge the top four, it was Dalla Porta, Aldeguer, Bendsneyder and Navarro who progressed to Q2.

QUALIFYING 2

The first flying lap of Q2 was set by Lowes on the Elf Marc VDS machine. He then improved on his early banker lap with a 1:36.071. In hindsight, this lap would prove vital as with nine minutes left on the clock, he suffered a horrible highside at Turn 8. The rear of the bike stepped out as he exited the corner, causing a highside which threw him down on to his shoulder before the bike hit him in the back.

Just moments before this incident, Ogura also crashed at Turn 8 – in an uncharacteristic move, the bike slid from underneath him as he touched the throttle to exit the corner. This combination of incidents resulted in yellow flags waving across both Sector 2 and 3.

As the session continued, and with just seven minute remaining, a number of riders seemed to pick up the pace – this included Acosta and Dixon who were setting flying sector times. As Acosta jumped up to third, the provisional grid was lead by Lowes, Albert Arenas and Acosta. Lopez, on his first Moto2 outing, was in provisional fourth ahead of Ogura in fifth.

With three minutes to go, Fernandez leapt to the top of the timings, only to have provisional pole snatches away moment later, as Acosta crossed the line. The next bike across the line was Dixon, who split the leading pair to take second. Lowes had now been shuffled off the front row and had no way to fight back as he sat in the garage.

As the checkered flag fell, no one looked to be able to improve on their times or challenge the leading pair. The final nail in the coffin came when Chantra suffered a fast front end crash at Turn 10 bringing out the yellow flag at sectors 3 and 4 and halting anyone from challenging Acosta.

Further down the grid, Aron Canet took seventh after a quiet and difficult weekend. Bo Bendsneyder was the best Q1 progressor in ninth, just ahead of Tony Arbolino in tenth.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto2: Reactions to the Qatar GP

The first race of the 2022 season was entirely dominated by Celestino Vietti on the VR46 Racing machine, there have been plenty of talking points. Below are a few key thoughts from the riders.

The start of a new season is always rife with speculation, anticipation and excitement. Thankfully, the first race lived up to that with some dominant performances from those on the podium and mixed fortunes for others further back in down the grid.

You can read our full race report here. Below are some key thoughts from the riders as they reflect on the weekend’s actions. The grid will be back in action on the 18th to the 20th of March in Indonesia.

P1 = Celestino Vietti, Mooney VR46 Racing Team

Vietti cruised to a maiden Moto2 win, having secured pole the previous day. He led every lap and came home more than six seconds ahead of his competitors.

Image Credit: MotoGP

“It was very unexpected because [during qualifying] we were fast, but we didn’t have this race pace. We didn’t plan on doing a race like this, but during [Sunday] morning we made some adjustments to better manage the tire and assure a better consistency. The bike worked well and the team did a good job, so this result is for them.

We have to remain calm and continue to work in this way. It is a good way to start the year, but we know that we have very good rivals and it will certainly be a difficult year. We’re going to have to fight hard, so we have to stay focused and work well.”


P3 = Sam Lowes, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team

Lowes was plagued with tendonitis during pre-season testing, which saw him missing out on a lot of track time. However, he enjoyed a race-long battle with Ogura, Fernandez and teammate Arbolino on his way to a podium finish. After winning both races in Qatar in 2021, he will have been keen to start 2022 in an equally positive way.

Image Credit: MotoGP

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. But we had a good qualifying [on Saturday] and a podium [on Sunday]! The race was difficult. There were a couple of guys that were stronger than me, but it was a nice battle even though I couldn’t ride how I wanted to ride. So, to get some points on the board is good and to get the podium at the end is fantastic.”

 


P4 = Augusto Fernandez, Red Bull KTM Ajo

Fernandez spent much of his race, like Lowes, battling for the final podium place, which he was on track to secure before Ogura knocked in him a few laps from the end. He will have, undoubtedly, been disappointed to miss out on his first podium with the KTM team.

Image Credit: MotoGP

“We end the weekend with a bittersweet taste in our mouths. However, we must be happy to have finished, since, after the setback on the last lap, it could have been worse. Besides this, I’m satisfied with how I felt on the bike. During the weekend we showed that we had the pace to be up at the front and we gave our all to win the battle in the chasing group. Finally, the podium got away from us due to that incident, but we were lucky enough to be able to cross the finish line.”


P11 = Jake Dixon, GASGAS Aspar Team

Dixon had a fairly solid day on Saturday, qualifying in seventh, but an issue on the first corner of the first lap sent him tumbling down the order. This forced him to spend much of the race recovering and trying to salvage as many points as possible.

Image Credit: MotoGP

“Turn 1 and 2 was a disaster! Being that far back – outside the top twenty – on the first lap meant it was so hard to try and come back. I had to pass 10 or 11 riders and it took a long time. I think I lost ten seconds and if you take that away from the final race time then we would have been battling for the podium. So, we had the pace but the first lap held me back. It’s a long season and this is just the start.”

 


P12 = Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo

After laying down the gauntlet in pre-season testing, Acosta crashed out of his first Moto2 qualifying and started the race in tenth. He then faced a similar issue to Dixon after a first corner incident sent him backwards early in the race. Many will have been expecting to see more from the young prodigy during his first Moto2 outing.

Image Credit: MotoGP

“Today we accumulated kilometres and very important experience. The important thing is that we had a very consistent race and that our pace was enough to be fighting with the riders in front. The start of the contest didn’t go as expected, but this can happen in your first Grand Prix in a class.”

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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