Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) went a stunning 15 seconds clear in a shortened and rain-soaked Moto2™ race at the MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The red flags came out with 14 laps remaining as conditions worsened and half points were awarded, but the drama had already hit for Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the number 37 crashed on the sighting lap and had to start the race from the back of the grid. Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) and Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) took second and third , the former aiming for a top three overall in 2023 and the latter taking back to back podiums for the first time.
The race got underway and it was Canet that led the charge into Turn 1, but not long after the Pons machine dropped to fourth after the two Boscoscuro riders of Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) and Aldeguer pushed their way through, with Arbolino also on an early charge.
It was a short-lived story for Lopez however, who crashed out of the race lead not long after, rider ok but out of the race at the venue he’d reigned in 2022 in the dry. He rejoined but was ultimately four laps down.
That gave the race lead to rookie Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40), with Arbolino and Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Racing Moto2™) rounding out the top three early doors.
The order quickly changed once again though, and this time it was Garcia who crashed out of the race lead, with Salač going down nearly simultaneously from third.
The laps ticked away as the riders braved the tricky conditions, but Arbolino had checked out already as he stretched out a 15-second lead. That was ahead of Canet and Aldeguer after crashes for Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) and Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) reshuffled the order in the chasing pack once more.
With 14 laps to go, however, the conditions were worsening and the Red Flag came out. The race was initially set to be restarted as a six-lap dash but with the conditions failing to improve, the result was declared and half points awarded. Arbolino, Canet and Aldeguer took the rostrum, with Jeremy Alcoba (QJMOTOR Gresini Racing Moto2™) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) completing the top five ahead of rookie Izan Guevara (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team).
Acosta made a fair charge from the back, but with ninth position and half points the advantage is down to 56 points. Still, that’s enough for the number 37 to have his first shot at the crown in Buriram! Tune in for match point Acosta at the OR Thailand Grand Prix!
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