An old-skool duel decides the intermediate class honours, with Acosta just coming out on top.
The Moto2™ race at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas was an instant classic as a two-way scrap for victory saw Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) just pip Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) on the final lap, setting up the perfect Championship rivalry in the process. The battle for third also raged on all race long, with Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) carving his way through the group on the final lap and taking his first Moto2™ podium, also the first Dutch podium in the intermediate class since Wilco Zeelenberg in 1994!
It was drama before the lights had even turned on in Texas as Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) crashed on the Warm Up lap, halting his chances before the race had even started. When the lights did go out though it was a perfect start from Acosta, who took a tight line at Turn 1 to defend the lead before Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) muscled his way through. Meanwhile, Arbolino made an incredible round-the-outside move through the slalom section to put himself into third.
Acosta was determined as ever as the Spaniard retook the lead on the way down to Turn 12, before a Lopez lunge at the penultimate corner attempted to take the lead but saw the Spaniard run wide and drop down to third – behind Arbolino.
With 14 laps to go Acosta attempted to stretch the field as he put the hammer down, with Lopez latched onto his coattails, but he hit a false neutral at the tricky Turn 12, allowing Lopez to take the lead as the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider dropped down to P5.
Acosta wasted no time in getting past Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) as the Spaniard put himself into 4th with his sights set on Arbolino and Lopez in front, and the three were able to escape Canet – before Lopez made a mistake and dropped down to sixth. This was it: the duel was on.
It was cat and mouse, with neither blinking, before with three to go Acosta found his way through as Arbolino ran wide at Turn 1. Further on around the lap it was then his turn, running wide to allow Arbolino back through. The Italian led across the line on the penultimate lap and it was gearing up for the perfect last lap scrap.
Once it was crunch time, Acosta couldn’t get any closer to the rear wheel of Arbolino’s Elf Marc VDS Kalex machine, but at Turn 12 the number 37 pounced and made it stick. That left Arbolino with one more shot at victory coming into the final two corners. Acosta ran incredibly defensively through them, allowing no way through for the Italian, but Arbolino took a wide swooping line into the final corner setting himself up for the drag to the line. It wasn’t quite enough but not by much, with Acosta taking the victory by 0.146s.
With the leading duo checking out at the front, the battle for third was hotting up nicely as Canet was coming under pressure from Fermin Aldeguer (BETA Tools SpeedUp), and the two QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™ riders of Jeremy Alcoba and Filip Salač. After a charge up the order though, it was Bendsneyder who took it to make a little history for rider and nation.
Alcoba finished fourth with teammate Salač rounding out the top five, with the SpeedUp riders of Aldeguer and Lopez just behind. Canet, polesitter Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) and Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) completed the top ten.
With a championship battle hotting up nicely in Moto2™, you’re not going to want to miss any of the action as the paddock moves to Jerez! Join us for more at the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España in two weeks’ time!
Moto2 Top 4 – Race Result – Americas GP
1. Pedro ACOSTA – SPA – Red Bull KTM Ajo – 34:42.879
2. Tony ARBOLINO – ITA – Elf Marc VDS Racing – +0.146
3. Bo BENDSNEYDER – NED – Pertamina… – +5.851
4. Jeremy ALCOBA – SPA – QJMOTOR Gresini – +6.049
Moto2 Top 4 – Championship Points after – Americas GP
1. Tony ARBOLINO – ITA – Elf Marc VDS Racing – 61pts
2. Pedro ACOSTA – SPA – Red Bull KTM Ajo – 54pts
3. Aron CANET – SPA – Pons Wegow Los40 – 41pts
4. Filip SALAC – CZE – QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 – 33
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