The Championship leader is now Fernandez once again as the Spaniard takes fourth and Ogura crashes out when attacking for the lead.
In an incredibly nervy showdown at Sepang, it was Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) leaving with a third intermediate class win in some style – and Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) leaves with the Championship lead once again. After Arbolino and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) had escaped at the front, the Japanese rider and then-points leader decided to make an attack – and slid out on the last lap.
Arbolino was left with a sizeable lead ahead of another impressive podium for Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp), who now leads the fight for Rookie of the Year despite only joining the grid full time at Le Mans. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) was a protagonist as he went elbow to elbow with Fernandez, the Brit eventually able to escape for another impressive podium.
After Arbolino and Ogura escaped, it was initially Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) holding third but in the latter stages, Lopez was able to pounce. He was followed by Dixon not long after, leaving Fernandez to take on the nervy task of trying to pass the rookie on the final lap – without knowing Ogura was about to crash out.
That was the drama as the Japanese rider went for a move at Turn 9, and suddenly the number 79 was on the floor. That left Arbolino with time to wave to the crowd on the way to the final corner, then crossing the line over 10 seconds clear for an impressive third Moto2™ win.
Lopez was able to keep a fairly secure second after that, with Dixon dispatching Fernandez, then Gonzalez and taking another podium. Fernandez did make his last lap move on the rookie ahead, and takes a valuable fourth to give him a 9.5 point lead heading into Valencia.
Gonzalez still takes his best ever result in fifth, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in P6. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) impressed to take seventh, with Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) suffering a tougher day at the office in eighth, just getting the better of Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp).
There was drama on Lap 1 for Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as he collided with Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and they were out early on, both riders ok.
The title fight rolls on and Fernandez is back on top. It’s 9.5 points ahead of the final showdown in Valencia, and on the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s home turf. Tune in for more in two weeks as we decide the 2022 Moto2™ World Champion!
1 Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – Kalex – 38’25.233
2 Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) – Boscoscuro – +11.411
3 Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) – Kalex – +11.802
Tony Arbolino: “In my mind, I have it. I want to prove I’m fast, I want to prove I’m one of the best riders in this category, so this is what I have in my mind and this is what keeps me believing it. So, even if I’m out of the world title, I want to keep building the confidence and win races. This is my objective right now because I have no pressure, but anyway, amazing, amazing feeling. This is the work that pays off – like I always say in all my interviews, but this is like that. I want to thank this amazing team, this amazing family, I want to give this to them and to my family and fans who follow me from all around the world.”
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